Layoff for Reasons of Budget or Program Policy for University Staff


UW-La Crosse accomplishes its mission of academic excellence through the effective utilization of a knowledgeable, responsible and stable workforce. Under certain circumstances, however, it may be necessary to eliminate or redesign positions, reorganize functions or reduce staff. 

This policy establishes layoff procedures for UW-La Crosse university staff and includes requirements as indicated in Wis. Stat. 36.115(2) and Operational Policy GEN 13. This procedure does not apply to an employee in their initial probationary period, temporary employees, student employees, seasonal employees or academic year employees during recesses in the academic year or the summer. 

Where practicable, employees in temporary or project appointments in the operational unit shall be reduced or discontinued before invoking the layoff procedures. 


“Layoff” means separation from employment for reasons of budget or due to the discontinuance, curtailment, modification, or redirection of a program. 

“Operational Unit” for the purposes of this policy, an operational unit is one or more departments, schools, programs, colleges, divisions or other entities with similar functions and job descriptions. The University will determine and identify work units prior to the implementation of the layoff. 

“Office of Human Resources” refers to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Office of Human Resources. 


The Chancellor or designee is authorized and responsible for documenting the justification for the layoff, the effective date of the layoff, identification of eliminated functions, and the position(s) to be eliminated. The plan will identify the operational area(s), position title(s), and the number of employees that are expected to be laid off. 

Employees subject to layoff will be determined and evaluated using the following criteria including, but not limited to, the needs of the institution to deliver services; relative skills, knowledge, or expertise of employees; and the length of service of employees. 

The Chancellor or designee is to discuss the layoff plan with university staff governance, committee(s) or committee representatives as may be appropriate. All anticipated layoffs will be reviewed in advance by the Director of Human Resources. The review must occur before any proposed layoff is announced or implemented. 

Once the layoff group has been determined, any employee from within the affected layoff group may elect to retire or voluntarily be laid off to avoid involuntary layoffs. 

Affected employees will be provided written notification prepared by the Office of Human Resources at least 30 calendar days in advance of a layoff. The notification will include the reason for the layoff and the effective date of the layoff as well as any other pertinent information. 

Provisions related to employee benefits upon layoff, consideration for vacant positions within UW System and restrictions related to the rehiring for duties of laid off employees are outlined in UPS Operational Policy GEN 13: Layoff for Reasons of Budget or Program. 

Alternatives to Layoff: If layoff is deemed necessary, an employee may be moved to another position regardless of being designated in layoff status. The employee shall receive written notice no less than 14 calendar days in advance. Involuntary employee movements are not meant to circumvent the recruitment process and should only be used to avoid a reduction in force. 

Refill of Positions: For three years from the anniversary of the layoff, no person may be employed in a position with an expectation of continued employment in that operational area to perform duties reasonably comparable to the duties of the laid off employee, without first making an offer of return to the laid off employee. An employee’s failure to accept such an offer of return shall terminate the employee’s rights under this section. 

University Responsibilities:

The Office of Human Resources will maintain this policy. 


Prior to July 1, 2015, layoff procedures were directed by the Office of State Employment Relations and described in Chapter 232 of the Wisconsin Human Resources Handbook. This policy document defines the UW-La Crosse layoff policy as of July 1, 2015. 

Related Documents/References:

Wis. Stat. 36.115(2)

UW System Operational Policy GEN 13


Please direct questions about this policy to the Office of Human Resources.