Termination of Employment

Staff members have the right to terminate their employment at any time with or without cause or prior notice, and the University of Puget Sound retains the same right to terminate a staff member's employment at any time with or without cause or prior notice, regardless of any other documents or oral or written statements issued by the University of Puget Sound or its representatives.

Notice of Resignation

A staff member in a non-exempt position is requested to give at least ten (10) working days notice of resignation. A staff member in an exempt position is requested to give at least twenty (20) working days notice of resignation. Staff members serving initial evaluation periods and temporary staff members are not expected to give notice when terminating.

Accumulated Leave Hours

Staff members who are terminating and have unused, accumulated vacation leave will be paid for vacation leave upon termination.

Staff members will not be paid for accumulated, unused sick leave on termination of employment, except as provided under the "Retirement from University Employment" policy in this section of the manual.

Staff members will not be paid for unused floating holiday hours or unused personal business appointments leave hours on termination of employment.

Termination Form

Whenever a staff member leaves university employment, the "Departure" form should be completed as soon as possible. The department should retain the bottom copy and forward the original to Human Resources. The staff member's supervisor or department head should review the checklist on the back of the form before the staff member's final work day. On the final work day, the department head forwards the staff member's last time worked or leave record to Human Resources. It is from this data that the staff member's final check is drawn. A staff member's date of termination is the last day worked. Pay for accumulated, unused vacation leave does not extend the staff member's length of service with the university.

Benefits

University-sponsored benefits generally end on the last day of the month in which the staff member terminates. Questions about the expiration of specific benefits, Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) continuation rights, conversion of group insurance to individual coverage, repurchase of retirement annuity contracts, etc., should be directed to Human Resources.

Staff members covered by a university medical plan, dental plan, or health care personal expense account have a right under the federal law known as COBRA to continue coverage, at their own expense, if they lose group medical or dental plan coverage because of a reduction in hours of employment or because of termination of employment for reasons other than gross misconduct.

In addition, spouses of staff members covered by one of the university's medical or dental plans have the right to continue coverage for themselves at their own expense if they lose group medical or dental plan coverage for any of the following four reasons:

  • the death of the staff member;
  • termination of the staff member's employment (for reasons other than gross misconduct) or reduction in the staff member's hours of employment;
  • divorce or legal separation from the staff member; or
  • the staff member becomes eligible for Medicare.

In the case of a dependent child of a staff member covered by the university's medical or dental plans, the child has the right to continuation of coverage if group health coverage under the university's medical or dental plans is lost for any of the following five reasons:

  • the death of the staff member;
  • the termination of the staff member's employment (for reasons other than gross misconduct) or reduction in the staff member's hours of employment with the university;
  • parents' divorce or legal separation;
  • the staff member becomes eligible for Medicare; or
  • the child ceases to be a "dependent child" as defined by the applicable university medical or dental plans.

The staff member or a family member has the responsibility to inform Human Resources of a divorce, legal separation, or a child losing dependent status under the university's medical or dental plans within thirty (30) days after the date of the divorce, legal separation, or the child's loss of dependent status under the plan.

When Human Resources is notified that one of these events has happened, the affected individual will be notified of the right to choose continuation coverage. The affected individual has sixty (60) days from the date coverage would be lost because of one of the events described above to inform Human Resources that he or she wants continuation coverage.

If the affected individual does not choose continuation coverage, his or her group medical or dental plan coverage will end.

If the affected individual chooses continuation coverage, the coverage will be, as of the time coverage is being provided, identical to the coverage provided under the plan to similarly-situated staff members or family members. The affected individual will be afforded the opportunity to maintain continuation coverage for three (3) years unless the group health coverage is lost because of the staff member's termination of employment or reduction in hours. In that case, the required continuation coverage period is eighteen (18) months. If the affected individual is disabled at the time coverage would be lost, she or he is entitled to continue coverage for twenty-nine (29) months, provided the affected individual notifies Human Resources that he or she is disabled within sixty (60) days of a determination of disability by the Social Security Administration.

Continuation coverage may be cut short for any of the following reasons:

  • the university no longer provides group medical or dental coverage to any of its staff members;
  • the premium for continuation is not paid;
  • the affected individual becomes an employee covered under another group medical or dental plan;
  • the affected individual becomes eligible for Medicare;
  • the affected individual was divorced from a covered staff member and subsequently remarries and is covered under the new spouse's group medical or dental plan.

The affected individual(s) does not have to show insurability to choose continuation coverage. However, the affected individual(s) will have to pay all of the premium for continuation coverage plus a 2 percent administrative fee. At the end of the eighteen (18) month or three (3) year continuation coverage period, the affected individual(s) will be allowed by the medical plan carrier to enroll in an individual medical conversion plan.

Origination Date: 3/1974
Revised: 1996, 4/2013