Involuntary Termination

There are circumstances under which it is in the University's best interest to terminate the employment of a staff member without notice. Those working in positions at grade 13 and above and those who are designated as serving at the pleasure of the President are not covered by this policy and may be terminated at any time.

Involuntary Termination - General Information

Circumstances warranting termination without notice may include, but are not limited to:

  • Probationary status;
  • Grossly unethical and/or criminal behavior (e.g., misuse of University funds, release of confidential information, etc.);
  • Actions or behavior that have a severe negative impact on the department's or the University's credibility;
  • Grossly inappropriate behavior;
  • Inability or unwillingness to adhere to conditions of employment (e.g., I-9 verification, mandatory participation in retirement plan, etc.);
  • Misrepresentation of facts (e.g., educational qualifications, criminal record, etc.); and,
  • Severe disregard for University policy (e.g., sexual harassment, failure to comply with safety and environmental regulations).

The University reserves the right to terminate a staff member's employment at any time when it is in the University's best interests to do so. In some cases an employee may be suspended while the facts of a situation are being investigated.

No severance pay is awarded when employment is involuntarily terminated under circumstances such as those listed above.

Process for Involuntary Termination

  1. The department head discusses the situation with the Director of Employee Relations or an HR Generalist to determine whether the behavior or actions warrant termination without notice.
  2. The department head or supervisor usually informs the employee verbally. Any such conversation should be followed by sending a letter to the employee which indicates the reason for termination and states that employment at Brown will be terminated.
  3. The department head or supervisor ensures that the Director of Employee Relations or an HR Generalist knows when the termination will take place so that the Loan Office and/or Bursar’s Office has time to identify any loans from or debts to Brown. The Human Resources Director then informs the Security Officer in Computing and Information Services to discontinue access to computer accounts.
  4. The department immediately takes a Personnel Action Form with the termination letter to the Records and Data Services section of Human Resources.
  5. The Records and Data Services section of Human Resources processes the submitted termination paperwork. The final paycheck including any accrued but unused vacation days will be issued at the next regularly scheduled pay period. Any outstanding loans or debts to Brown are deducted from the final paycheck.

  6. The department collects keys from the employee and ensures that all department property is returned.
  7. The employee is asked to attend an Employment Exit Interview and a Benefits Exit Interview. The employee should complete an online Exit Interview Questionnaire or meet with the HR Generalist or Director of Employee Relations for the Employment Exit Interview. The Benefits Exit Interview should be completed with a Benefits Specialist. . Depending on the circumstances of the termination, an employee may or may not be eligible for continued health and dental coverage under COBRA.

References for employees who are terminated are handled in the same manner as references for all other former employees. (See Employment Verifications and Reference Requests policy 20.033.)

Employees who are involuntarily terminated (except those serving probationary periods and/or those holding positions in grade 13 or above and those "working at the pleasure of the President") are eligible to invoke the Problem Resolution Process within ten working days of notification of termination. (See Problem Resolution Process policy 20.071.)

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