HR0160 – Termination of Employment
To identify the types of terminations and establish termination categories for university employees.
- When termination of employment becomes necessary, whether employee or employer initiated, proper procedures must be followed to ensure 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 and the head of the employee’s department is responsible for ensuring that the termination is properly submitted and approved in IRIS in a timely manner and in accordance with this policy. . When a termination occurs while the employee is on leave of absence, (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, the termination shall occur on the last date of employment per such policies. 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.
- There are several categories of termination recognized by the university. When initiating the termination actions, the categories will be identified by use of the termination codes as explained in this policy. Documentation of the following actions should be sent to Human Resources for inclusion in the official personnel file.
- 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, is 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.
- Discharge. This is an action initiated by the employer to terminate an employee. Such terminations will strictly adhere to the university HR0525 DISCIPLINARY ACTION POLICY AND PROCEDURES. The discharge of a staff member is an action to be taken with extreme care to ensure 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. The human resources officer may take appropriate action to postpone or set aside a discharge if he/she determines that university policy has not been followed.
- Reduction-in-Force. A campus or unit may have to institute reductions in force or eliminations of externally funded positions. 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. Such terminations will strictly adhere to the university Policy HRO145-Reduction in Force, Elimination of Externally-Funded Positions and Reduction of Hours.
- 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.
- 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 intent to retire shall be sent to the employee’s human resources office. Faculty will follow the policy as established in the applicable faculty handbook. Whenever possible, reasonable advance notice of an employee’s retirement is expected.
- Student Termination. This is the termination of employment of a student employee for any reason other than Discharge.
- The following termination codes will be used when initiating terminations:
No longer desires work (for Friends only)
Moving out of area
To accept employment at another college or university (Code 12 has priority.)
To accept employment in industry or other
To accept employment with a State of Tennessee agency, State Board of Regents institution or a Locally Governed institution
To further education
Quit without notice
Dissatisfaction with job
Dissatisfaction with compensation
EE appointed but never worked
Resigned – lieu of termination
Unable to work/medical
Not eligible to work due to policy or regulations
Inadequate work performance
Violation of code of conduct
Falsification of University documents
Termination during probationary period
Termination at will (UT Foundation Only)
- Reduction In Force
Lack of work
Lack of E and G funds
End of temporary or seasonal employment
Elects layoff rather than accept transfer to another position
End of work assignment
Lack of grant funding
End of Limited Duration Appointment
Death in the line of duty
Non-renewal of appointment
Tenure denied – exp. of apt
Academic Program elimination
Faculty termination – Adequate cause
Retirement in lieu of layoff
Retirement in lieu of termination
- Student Termination
End of student employment
- The department head of a terminated employee’s department is responsible for ensuring that the employee’s status in IRIS is changed to “terminated” by submitting an IRIS termination request for approval. For employees with termination codes under (b) and (c) and for termination code (a)(23), the employee’s status must be submitted and approved by the last day of service. For all other termination codes, the department head is responsible for ensuring that the employee’s status in IRIS is changed to “terminated” by submitting an IRIS termination request and verifying approval no more than three (3) business days from the last day of employee’s service. Department heads who do not enter terminations in a timely fashion may be subject to disciplinary action.