HR0160 – Termination of Employment

Effective: February 1, 1998
Revision No: 19
Termination Categories Related Policies
Termination Codes Procedures

To identify the types of terminations and establish termination categories for university employees.

  1. When termination of employment becomes necessary, whether employee or employer initiated, proper procedures must be followed to assure equitable treatment to all parties. Termination from the University of Tennessee shall be officially documented in such a manner as to establish a clear record of action, both as a service to the terminating employee and to the university. An employee will be terminated on his or her last working day except when termination occurs while the employee is on leave of absence without pay (see POLICY HR0355, LEAVE OF ABSENCE) or if the exceptions as stated in POLICY HR0320, DAYS OF ADMINISTRATIVE CLOSING; POLICY HR0338, FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE and, POLICY HR0350, HOLIDAYS, apply. If appropriate, unused annual leave,not to exceed the allowable maximum, will be paid as a lump sum in the employee's last pay check.

Termination Categories[top]

  1. There are several categories of termination recognized by the university. When initiating the termination papers, the categories will be identified by use of the termination codes as explained in this policy.
    1. Resignation. The employment relationship is most typically severed by employee resignation. This is a voluntary action on the part of the employee. The absence of an employee without notification for three days, also known as a "Voluntary Quit," and the absence of an employee due to "Inability to Work" are each categorized as a resignation.Staff members are expected to notify their immediate supervisor in writing of their intention to resign their employment. Faculty will follow the policy as established in the applicable faculty handbook. Staff non-exempt employees are expected to give a minimum of two (2) weeks notice and staff exempt employees are expected to give a minimum of four (4) weeks notice. Whenever possible, reasonable advance notice of an employee's resignation is expected. Supervisors should acknowledge and accept the resignation in writing.
    2. Discharge. This is an action initiated by the employer to terminate an employee. Such terminations will strictly adhere to the university DISCIPLINARY ACTION POLICY AND PROCEDURES. The discharge of a staff member is an action to be taken with extreme care to assure protection to all parties concerned. Supervisors shall contact their campus human resources office prior to discharging any employee to ensure that such action is appropriate and consistent with university policy. No discharge is considered effective if the human resources officer determines that university policy has not been followed.
    3. Reduction in Force. A campus or unit may have to institute reductions in force. This is an action by the employer to terminate an employee or employees because of temporary or permanent lack of work, lack of funds, or reorganization.
    4. Death
    5. Non-Reappointment. This is an action initiated by the employer to terminate a faculty member who is not recommended for reappointment to an academic rank. The policy and procedures to be followed are delineated in the applicable faculty handbook.
    6. Retirement. This is the termination of employment by an employee who is retiring. Staff employees are expected to notify their immediate supervisor in writing of their intention to retire and the date of expected retirement. Copies of this retirement notice shall be sent to the employee's human resources office. Faculty will follow the policy as established in the applicable faculty handbook.
    7. Student Termination. This is the termination of employment of a student employee for any reason other than Discharge.

Termination Codes[top]

  1. The following termination codes will be used when initiating terminations:
      1. Resignation
        100 To accept employment at another college or university (Code 105 has priority.)
        105 To accept employment with a State of Tennessee agency or State Board of Regents institution
        110 To accept employment in industry or other
        120 To further education
        125 Completion of educational work requirements
        130 Illness or injury or medical disability
        135 Inability to work
        140 Quit without notice; abandonment of position
        150 Family obligations
        160 Moving out of area (Codes 100 thru 120 have priority.)
        170 Failure to return from leave of absence
        180 Working conditions
        185 Dissatisfaction with job
        190 No longer desires work (Codes 100 thru 185 have priority.)
        195 * Not eligible to work due to policy or regulations (Visa, I-9, etc.)


      2. Discharge
        205 * Inability to meet performance standards (inadequate work performance)
        215 * Refusal to follow clear instructions (termination for cause)
        225 * Gross misconduct
        235 * Employee error that is threatening to life or could result in significant property loss
        240 * Violation of university work rules
        245 * Excessive absenteeism or tardiness
        275 * Termination during probationary period
        290 * Court-ordered termination


      3. Reduction In Force
        300 * Laid-off--Lack of work
        310 * Laid-off--Lack of funds
        320 * Laid-off--Reorganization
        350 * Temporary layoff
        360 Laid-off--End of temporary or seasonal employment
        361 Laid-off--End of temporary or seasonal employment--Automatic termination
        370 * Elects layoff rather than accept transfer to another position
        380 * End of work assignment
        390 * Position outsourced


      4. Death
        400 Death
        410 Death in the line of duty


      5. Non-Reappointment
        500 Not recommended for reappointment


      6. Retirement
        600 Retirement with pension
        640 Retirement without pension
        690 Disability retirement
        695 Retirement in lieu of layoff


      7. Student Termination
        700 End of student employment (Codes 205 thru 275 have priority.)
        701 End of student employment--Automatic termination

    * Additional written explanation will be required.

    Health Science Center:
    Space Institute:
    Institute of Agriculture:

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