2300 REDUCTIONS IN FORCE
2350 LAYOFFS IN THE COMPETITIVE CLASS
[This material was issued in 1987. While still
relevant, you are referred to the "Guidelines for the Administration
of Reductions in Force" for accurate and more complete information.]
.210 Suspension of Employees
.211 Suspension means the layoff or reduction in status of an employee
due to abolition of positions in the competitive, non-competitive
or labor classes.
.212 When positions in a title in the competitive class are abolished,
only employees in the layoff unit within which the abolition occurs
are considered for retention and suspension. Employees in other titles,
in the same title in other jurisdictional classes, or in the same
title in other layoff units are not considered. Suspension of employees
in the affected titles in the layoff unit must occur in the following
- Temporary, provisional and certain contingent permanent employees
- All temporary and provisional employees are suspended before suspending
permanent employees. Even though no set order of suspension is provided
in the law for temporary and provisional employees, we recommend suspension
be made beginning with the least senior.
- Probationary employees - Probationers must be suspended
before other permanent employees who have completed probation. Probationers
have greater retention rights than temporary and provisional employees.
Suspension among probationers is made beginning with the least senior.
- Permanent [employees]- Suspension
should be made among permanent non-
probationary employees only after all temporary, provisional and
probationary employees in the effected title have been suspended.
Such employees are suspended beginning with the least senior.
- Contingent permanent employees - Employees appointed contingent
permanent prior to 12/18/80 are combined with temporary and provisional
employees (A. above) for suspension. Employees appointed on or after
12/18/80 (when Rule 4.11 was revised) are combined with permanent
probationers (B. above) or with permanent employees (C. above) as
NOTE: When a contingent permanent employee is affected by the return
of the permanent incumbent and that return is NOT necessitated by an abolition
of positions, this is not considered a suspension or demotion as described
in CSL §80 or CSL §80-a and the retention rights and seniority
of the contingent permanent employee are NOT considered.
When the return of the permanent incumbent is necessitated by an abolition
of positions, the retention rights and seniority of the contingent permanent
employee must be taken into consideration - see Guidelines for Reductions
in Force -Transmittal Memorandum No. 6 from John P. McKenna,-.., March
23, 1983, "Retention, Displacement and Reemployment Rights of Employees
on Leave." [This is no longer correct.]
.220 Determining Seniority
.221 Generally a permanent employee's seniority date for layoff is
the date of original permanent appointment to the classified service
provided the employee has "continuous service" since that
date. There are, however, several reasons why that date would be adjusted.
.222 Adjustment based on status as a veteran, disabled veteran, or
for certain spouses of disabled veterans.
- The specific definitions of veteran and disabled veteran are
contained in §85 of the CSL. Briefly, they are as follows:
- Veteran - An individual afforded status as a veteran must have
served in the armed forces in time of war, and received an honorable
discharge or release under honorable circumstances. The date of
original permanent appointment is adjusted to 30 months earlier.
- Disabled veteran - In addition to the above, to qualify as
a disabled veteran an individual must be certified by the Veteran's
Administration as entitled to receive disability payments for
a disability incurred in time of war. The date of original permanent
appointment is adjusted to 60 months earlier.
- Certain spouses' of disabled veterans - The head of household
spouse of a disabled veteran with a 100$ service-connected disability
has the date of original permanent appointment adjusted to 60
.223 The Blind
A person is considered to be legally blind if he or she is certified
as such by the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped and
registered with the Library of Congress. A blind individual must be
retained over all non-blind individuals having the same appointment
status in the same title. That is to say, all permanent non-blind
individuals would have to be laid off before a permanent blind individual
in the same title. However, permanent non-blind individuals would
not be laid off before a probationary or temporary blind individual.
.224 Breaks in Service and Determination of Seniority Date
- Permanent employees who were separated and permanently reemployed
in State service up to one year later are deemed to have continuous
service and retain their original seniority date.
- Permanent employees who were separated and permanently reemployed
on or after October 17, 1985 with an absence of more than one
year and up to three years have the full amount of their previous
service credited in determining their seniority date.
- Permanent employees who were separated and permanently reemployed
on or after October 17, 1985 with an absence of more than three
years have their previous service credited orf a prorata basis
to determine their seniority.
- See General Information Bulletin No. 86-01, April 10, 1986
-"Reconstructed Seniority Dates - Sections 80.3 and 80-a.3
of the Civil Service Law" for examples illustrating reconstruction
of seniority dates.
.225 Reinstatement Following Disability Termination Pursuant to CSL
An individual terminated because of a disability resulting from occupational
injury or disease as defined in the Workers' Compensation Law who
is reinstated or reappointed is deemed to have continuous service.
.226 Temporary or Provisional Service Following a Break in Service
Temporary or provisional service which precedes the origina permanent
appointment does not count. However, if a permanent' employee resigns
or otherwise leaves State service and is reemployed on a temporary
or provisional basis within one year and then, without a further break
in service, is reemployed on a permanent basis, there is no break
in continuous service. This applies even when the subsequent permanent
appointment occurs more than one year after separation.
.227 Transfer of Function
Employees transferred to State service upon transfer of functions
from another governmental jurisdiction pursuant to §70.2 of the
CSL have continuous service beginning with their original permanent
appointment date in the classified service in the other governmental
Employees covered into a State classified service position pursuant
to CSL §45 will have a seniority date which is the same date
as the cover-in. To break ties in this group use the date of original
appointment prior to cover-in.
.229 Preferred List Status
Employees who have been laid off and had their names placed on preferred
lists shall not be considered to have s break in service for the time
spent on a preferred list.
.2210 Breaking Ties
When several employees have the same layoff seniority date, the appointing
authority can use any reasonable and consistent basis for breaking
.230 Displacement Rights
.231 The displacement rights of permanent employees are considered
once the least senior permanent employees occupying positions to be
abolished have been identified. It is important to note that probationers
who are on leave may not displace but may return to their hold item.
Probationers without a hold item may displace provided they have five
years of continuous and satisfactory service. Permanent non-probationers
must be offered displacement opportunities before probationers. Probationers
may not displace permanent employees who have completed their probation.
.232 Vertical Bumping
Employees who are to be suspended and are serving in a title which
has a direct line of promotion may displace employees in the next
lower occupied title in that series within the layoff unit. This is
called vertical bumping. The procedure for vertical bumping is outlined
- First identify the most senior employee to be suspended from
highest level title affected by layoff. Compare that incumbent
with the least senior incumbent in the next lower occupied title
in direct line of promotion.
- "Direct line of promotion" is a narrow concept. For
example, Clerk I, Senior Clerk, Principal Clerk, Head Clerk and
Chief Clerk is the direct line of promotion for that series. A
Senior File Clerk would NOT be considered a title in direct line
of promotion. Agencies should work closely with their staffing
representative to determine which titles are in
direct line of promotion for displacement purposes.
- Employees may only vertically bump into occupied positions.
Positions held by incumbents on a temporary, provisional, contingent-permanent,
probationary, or permanent basis are considered to be occupied.
Positions encumbered by employees on leave are considered to be
occupied. While employees may not vertically bump to a vacant
position, a reinstatement may be possible at the agency's discretion.
- A lower level title in which all positions have also been abolished,
or in which all positions are vacant is not available for vertical
bumping. Displacing employees would then be compared to the incumbents
in the next lower level in direct line of promotion.
- Next, lay off the employee with the lesser "retention standing"
of the two.
- if an employee refuses to displace a junior incumbent, then
that employee is laid off, and the junior incumbent remains in
- The junior incumbent is still compared in retention standing
with other incumbents if additional positions at the higher level
are being abolished.
- Repeat steps A and B until all individuals in an affected title
series have been compared for vertical bumping.
Retreat is only possible when there is no lower level occupied title
in direct line of promotion within the layoff unit. Basically, retreat
means a return to the title in a lower salary grade last held on a
permanent basis. For retreat to occur, the following criteria must
- The employee who is retreating cannot have had an opportunity
to displace through vertical bumping. An employee who had the
opportunity to vertically bump and declined the opportunity, or
who lacked sufficient seniority to vertically bump, cannot now
be considered for retreat.
- The formerly held title must be in the competitive, non-ompetitive
or labor class.
- The formerly held title must be occupied. As with vertical bumping,
an employee cannot retreat to a vacant position. However, a reinstatement
may be possible at the agency's discretion.
- The formerly held title must exist in the layoff unit and be
at a lower salary grade. Prior service in the retreat title need
NOT have been in the layoff unit.
- The retreating employee must have more seniority than the least
senior employee in the layoff unit in the title to which retreat
is sought. A probationer cannot displace an employee who has completed
probation regardless of seniority.
- The retreating employee's service in the former title must
- Outlined below are some additional concerns to keep in mind
when determining retreat rights:
- Title change - If an employee's retreat title has changed,
but the duties have remained the same, the retreat will still
be allowed to the new title.
- Intervening Service - An employee with service in other intervening
titles may still retreat as long as service in the intervening
titles was on other than a permanent basis, or was not at a
lower salary level.
- Break in service - An employee may retreat to the formerly
held title even if there was a break in service of more than
one year, as long as all other conditions are met.
.240 Placement Rosters
Prior to the date of layoff, the names of permanent employees who are
expected to be affected may be placed on placement rosters. (See 1470.)
.250 Preferred Lists and Reemployment Rosters
As of the date of layoff, the names of permanent employees who are laid
off are placed on preferred lists and reemployment rosters. (See 1450
.410 Outlines of Agency Procedures for Layoffs
.411 The following outlines the major steps agencies should follow
in reduction in force situations. A more complete and detailed discussion
of procedures is described in the "Guidelines for Reductions
In Force," Part II Methodologies and Procedures.
- Advise Department of Civil Service and the Office of Employee
Relations of an impending layoff and indicate the expected effective
- Determine the titles and number of positions to be abolished
and the titles likely to be affected due to displacement through
vertical bumping and retreat.
- Provide the Department of Civil Service with information on
positions which may be affected by layoff. This should include
titles which may be affected by vertical bumping or retreat as
well as any titles the agency feels may be comparable to be filled
by a preferred list consisting of the layoff titles. The Department
of Civil Service will determine which titles are comparable to
be filled by reinstatement from a preferred list or reemployment
roster established for the layoff title.
- Request and receive from the Department of Civil Service final
direct line determinations for vertical bumping, and seniority
rosters for all employees in titles which have positions being
affected by abolition, vertical bumping and retreat.
- Determine the number and location of positions to be abolished
in each title and tentatively identify employees who will be affected.
- Determine the potential vertical bumping or retreat possibilities
for employees who will be affected in E. above.
- Arrange informational meetings for employees potentially affected
by abolition, reassignment and displacement. Meetings should include
representatives from Civil Service, the Unions and Agency.
- Notify employees of their potential layoff and the scheduled
informational meetings. This notice should include a completed
copy of form S-295.5 Preferred List/ Reemployment Roster Eligible
Card with instructions to employees to verify their seniority
date, personnel information and indicate the locations where they
will accept reemployment. Each employee must also receive a copy
of "Information for State Employees Affected by Layoff."
The booklet and form S-295.5 are available from the Department
of Civil Service.
- Receive signed S-295.5's from employees and send to Department
of Civil Service.
- No later than three weeks prior to the date of layoff send
notices to all employees being affected by the layoffs.
- Notify affected employees with accumulated vacation credits
eiceeding the 30 days for which lump sum payment is made. These
employees will be permitted to use excess vacation credits up
to the present maximum of 40 days (maximum of 10 days beyond the
30 compensated days) prior to the effective date of termination.
Agency payrolls should be timely submitted to allow the Office
of the State Comptroller to process lump sum payments payable
in the employee's final check.
- A laid off employee who displaces another individual in a lower
grade position should have this displacement information noted
in the appointment portion of the S-295.5 card. Note the title,
grade and location of the position to which the displacing employee
is being appointed.
.420 Layoffs in Multiple Locations
In many agencies the layoff unit includes a number of locations
in different counties. Where layoffs occur in these situations usually
agencies must reassign staff among the positions and locations which
will be left after the layoff. In carrying out the layoff process,
the horizontal reassignment opportunities and the willingness of
employees to relocate must be determined prior to vertical displacement
and retreat. While 'several approaches may be taken to carry out
horizontal reassignments, the essential legal requirements are that
reassignments are in-title with no change in an employee's status;
they occur within the confines of the layoff unit, and retention
rights and seniority govern the reassignment opportunities offered
to permanent employees. Permanent employees who decline reassignment
to another county do not have rights to displace through bumping
or retreat. However, the Department of Civil Service provides preferred
list and reemployment roster status to such employees.
Agencies should discuss the layoff situation with the Department of Civil
Service to determine the most equitable method of reassigning more senior
employees. Whatever method is chosen must be applied consistently to all
employees in the layoff unit.
Return to Top ^