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REDUCTION IN FORCE. Putting It All Together February 2011 . OBJECTIVES. Understanding Reduction-in-Force Process Understanding effects on Retirement Process and Group Insurance Understanding Office of Human Resources/Department Placement Efforts Understanding the Timeline.

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Reduction in force


Putting It All Together

February 2011


  • Understanding Reduction-in-Force Process

  • Understanding effects on Retirement Process and Group Insurance

  • Understanding Office of Human Resources/Department Placement Efforts

  • Understanding the Timeline

Outline of topics
Outline of Topics

  • Governing Authority/MCPR Provisions

  • RIF Rights/Policy

  • Seniority

  • Retirement and Group Insurance

  • Notification

  • OHR Responsibilities

  • Placement Efforts

  • Salary Considerations

  • Severance Pay

  • Priority Rights

  • Appeal Rights

  • Timeline

  • Reorganizations

  • Labor/EEO

Governing authority
Governing Authority

  • Article 27 of the collective bargaining agreement between Montgomery County Government & MCGEO referencing AP 4-19 (November 7, 1991), Reduction in Force (represented employees-OPT/SLT)

  • Montgomery County Personnel Regulations, Section 30 (non-represented employees)

Mcpr provisions
MCPR Provisions

  • RIF can be based on service needs, seniority, or performance. Full-time and part-time positions are treated separately.

  • If a position is abolished in a department or agency, only the employees in the same occupational class in that department are subject to the RIF.

  • Vacancies in the same class within a department must be abolished and probationary and temporary employees in the same class within a department must be terminated before merit system employees.

Mcpr provisions1
MCPR Provisions

  • Employees are displaced by inverse seniority.

  • Departments may request from OHR a service needs exception to the use of inverse seniority to maintain employees within a class that require unique knowledge, skills, and abilities that are not required for every position in the class and that cannot be acquired by other employees in 6 months or less.

  • An employee who is RIFed as a result of a service needs exception has the right to appeal.

Expanded rif process mcgeo represented positions only
Expanded RIF Process (MCGEO represented positions only)

  • No merit employee in an affected job class will be terminated if there is a probationary, temporary, or seasonal employee in the same job class in another department;

  • Once all alternatives to RIF are exhausted (transfers, demotions, DSRs) OHR will determine if there are any probationary, temporary, seasonal employees in affected job classes. If there are probationary, temporary, or seasonal employees in an affected job class, then the employees will be terminated to create vacancies;

  • Such vacancies will be made available to affected employees in that class;

Expanded rif process continued mcgeo represented positions only
Expanded RIF Process (continued) (MCGEO represented positions only)

  • Employees who are on probation as of 3/15/11, will have their probationary periods extended three months or to July 3, 2011, so that the RIF process can be conducted.

  • OHR notified departments of this on February 4, 2011. OHR will (if they have not done so already) send departments a list of affected employees within their department.

Rif rights
RIF Rights positions only)

  • Priority Consideration

  • Reinstatement

  • Salary Considerations

  • Effect on Benefits

Rif rights continued
RIF Rights ( positions only)continued)

  • Applies to all affected merit employees.

  • Does not apply to probationary or temporary employees.

  • Applies to “term” employees only if the term is not completed or position was not created for specified period of time or term.

Rif policy
RIF Policy positions only)

  • Affected class includes all classes in occupational series at or below the budget level (ie., HR Specialist III,II, I and PAI).

  • Positions identified by common work year (full-time, part-time, year-round, school-year, etc.).

Seniority positions only)

  • Seniority credits for affected employees must be calculated by the department and verified by OHR based on:

    • County employment (including any past periods if the employee had a break in service).

    • Performance (non-represented employees only) – overall 3 year period.

    • May include time in a non-pay or LWOP status in certain circumstances.

Seniority continued
Seniority ( positions only)continued)

County Employment:

  • The total length of time that an individual has been a County employee in a full-time and part-time position. This does not include:

    • time spent as a temporary employee

    • time in a non-pay or LWOP status that exceeds 10 workdays, unless the employee was in a non-pay or LWOP status while:

      • on FMLA leave under Section 19;

      • on military leave under Section 22;

      • performing the duties associated with the employee’s elected position as a member of the Maryland General Assembly while the General Assembly is in session; or

      • on a furlough day under Section 30.

Seniority continued1
Seniority ( positions only)continued)

  • Part-time employees’ seniority will be pro-rated on the basis of the number of hours worked per week.

  • Seniority will be calculated to the day.

  • In the event of a tie relating to seniority, OHR will determine seniority based on AP 4-19 and/or Personnel Regulations Section 30, depending on the appropriate circumstance.

Seniority and performance
Seniority and Performance positions only)


  • Performance may only be used in calculating seniority for non-represented employees.

  • The department director must not give affected employees seniority credit or deduct seniority credit based on performance unless the performance evaluation plan used by the department for the last 3 years:

    • Included 4 rating categories

    • Was used uniformly to evaluate the performance of employees in the affected class

    • Is consistent with Section 11 of the Personnel Regulations for non-bargaining unit employees

Discontinued service retirement dsr
Discontinued Service Retirement (DSR) positions only)

  • Members of the Retirement Savings Plan/Guaranteed Retirement Income Plan are not eligible for DSR.

  • Department requests for DSR will be considered prior to conducting the RIF.

Dsr conditions
DSR Conditions positions only)

  • No vacant positions in affected class.

  • No temporary employees in affected class.

  • Employee expressing interest in DSR is the most senior in the class, or the most senior employee(s) in the class have indicated that they are not interested in DSR.

  • The employee meets all other requirements for a DSR (i.e., has at least 10 years of service).

Dsr process
DSR Process positions only)

  • Verified seniority lists will be returned to departments with notification as to who is eligible for DSR;

  • Department will meet with employees in affected classes 3/15/11 or after to discuss budget;

  • Department may indicate that DSR may be an option in classes where there are employees eligible for DSR;

  • Department indicates that OHR will contact eligible employees regarding DSR process and DSR meetings;

  • Department will provide OHR with required letter requesting DSR for prospective employee (if applicable);

  • Department inputs action in Oracle;

  • DSR is confirmed and RIF is avoided.

Retirement savings plan rsp and guaranteed retirement income plan grip
Retirement Savings Plan (RSP) and Guaranteed Retirement Income Plan (GRIP)

  • Entitled to vested balance upon separation

  • Vested in member contributions and earnings

  • RSP - vested in County contributions and earnings at 3 years membership or age 62

  • GRIP - vested in County contributions and earnings at 3 years membership

  • Can leave account balance in the RSP/GRIP up until the time age 70 ½; during that time, earnings accrue and funds may be transferred among investment alternatives

Notification process
Notification Process Income Plan (GRIP)

  • Departments should identify vacancies, temporary and probationary employees and forward this information to OHR by 3/1/11.

  • Notices of Intent will be issued April 15, 2011; letters prepared by OHR.

  • Letters are normally hand delivered by department representatives.

  • Affected employees are given priority rights to any position they qualify for at their same grade or below.

Notification process continued
Notification Process ( Income Plan (GRIP)continued)

  • Final Notices will be sent on May 27, 2011.

  • Employees must be given at least 30 days written notice of termination.

  • If the need for RIF is eliminated through alternative placement or retirement, OHR will notify affected employees in writing and will rescind their priority consideration.

Ohr responsibilities
OHR Responsibilities Income Plan (GRIP)

  • Assisting affected and displaced employees find employment.

  • Assisting department and agencies with the RIF and DSR processes.

  • Providing resume preparation and interviewing skills.

  • Providing job hunting strategies.

  • Providing financial and benefits counseling.

Placement efforts
Placement Efforts Income Plan (GRIP)

  • Once Notices of Intent letters are sent to employees, OHR begins placement efforts to transition affected employees to vacant positions.

  • Departments will provide listing of all viable vacancies to OHR.

  • All vacancies will be posted on the County’s career site (

  • We will utilize an abbreviated Requisition format for vacancies.

  • Any employee in an affected class may claim “priority consideration,” not necessarily the least senior employee.

  • RIFees must meet the minimum qualifications for positions.

  • Employees apply for available vacancies; departments interview and selections are made.

Placement efforts continued
Placement Efforts ( Income Plan (GRIP)continued)

  • If more than one RIFee applies for a position, the Hiring Manager may select the RIFee with the overall qualifications best suited for the position.

    • Part-time employees have first priority to part-time jobs and full-time employees have first priority to full-time jobs.

  • All qualified RIFees should be interviewed.

  • OHR will meet on a regular basis to coordinate placement efforts.

  • Last minute placements may be made without interviews (ie., if the employee qualifies for a position, they are placed).

Salary considerations
Salary Considerations Income Plan (GRIP)

  • Affected employee voluntary demotion – if salary exceeds maximum salary of new pay grade, no reduction for 2 years.

Outcomes Income Plan (GRIP)

  • Employees may receive transfers (same position, grade, status). They have no additional rights.

  • Some employees may be demoted. If their salary exceeds the maximum salary for the new pay grade, there is no reduction in salary for 2 years. These employees maintain priority consideration rights to their previous grade (refer to AP 4-19 and/or Personnel Regulations, Section 30).

  • If alternative placement is not found for an employee before the termination date, the affected employee may chose to be terminated or take LWOP for up to one year.

  • Employees terminated or demoted will be placed on a reemployment list for reinstatement. They:

    • Retain reinstatement rights for 2 years

    • May be eligible for severance pay

    • May be non-competitively reappointed for a 5 year period

Severance pay
Severance Pay Income Plan (GRIP)

  • Additional compensation granted to certain probationary employees and certain employees in the Retirement Savings Plan and Guaranteed Retirement Income Plan whose employment is terminated by a RIF or other administrative action.

Severance plan rsp grip and personnel regulations
Severance Plan-RSP/GRIP and Personnel Regulations Income Plan (GRIP)

Personnel Regulations:

  • Less than 3 months - 0

  • 3 to 8 months - 1 week of final earnings

  • 9 to 11 months - 2 weeks of final earnings


  • 1 to 5 years service – 6 weeks of final earnings

  • 5 to 7 years service – 8 weeks of final earnings

  • 7 to 9 years service – 10 weeks of final earnings

  • 9 years of service or greater – 12 weeks of final earnings

Group insurance post separation eligibility
Group Insurance Post Separation Eligibility Income Plan (GRIP)

ERS Members must meet the eligibility requirements for:

  • Normal (as defined by ERS Group)

  • Early (as defined by ERS Group)

  • DSR (in the case of a DSR, group insurance benefits are effective at the time of separation, even if the member has not yet met Early Retirement)

    RSP/GRIP - In general, employees are eligible for post separation group insurance if they meet the ERS criteria for a Normal, Early or DSR

    If the employee is not eligible for post separation group insurance, they may continue under COBRA.

Priority rights
Priority Rights Income Plan (GRIP)

  • Represented employees – unlimited placements for 2 years or until they are made whole.

  • Non-represented employees – 3 placements within the 2 year period, to include the initial placement.

  • An employee is entitled to priority consideration for announced vacancies in the same branch of government as that from which the employee was affected or displaced. However, an employee of the Legislative or Judicial branches hired before 8/1/83 is entitled to priority consideration for announced vacancies in all branches.

  • A non-MLS employee may not claim priority to an MLS position.

Appeal rights
Appeal Rights Income Plan (GRIP)

  • An non-represented employee with merit system status who is demoted or whose employment is terminated due to RIF may appeal under Section 34 and 35 of the Personnel Regulations.

  • The Union may appeal on behalf of a represented employee with merit system status under Article 10 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Timeline Income Plan (GRIP)

  • March 1, 2011 – Seniority lists due to OHR.

  • March 1, 2011 - Departments to identify all vacancies, temporary and probationary employees and forward this information to OHR.

  • April 15, 2011 – Notices of Intent letters sent.

  • May 27, 2011 – Final Notice letters sent.

Reorganization consideration
Reorganization Consideration Income Plan (GRIP)

  • In the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the County and MCGEO under Article 9.10(e)   Classification reviews shall be suspended under FY 2011. If necessary, it is recommended that  departments assign duties from an abolished vacated position to an employee in the same classification or grade of the abolished position.

  • OHR declines most special classification study requests.

  • If the Department absolutely must reorganize, they will need to obtain CAO’s authorization then the department should:

    • Consider alignment with the County Executive’s Priorities and Values

    • Consult Section 9-5 (Special Classification Studies) of the Personnel Regulations and designated classification specialist

    • Send memorandum from the Department Head to the Director of OHR with objective, org. charts, and position descriptions

Labor relations
Labor Relations Income Plan (GRIP)

  • Until the budget is officially released by the County Executive, the content is confidential.

  • The County Executive’s recommended budget will be released on March 15, 2011 when it is transmitted to the County Council for review and final approval. Until this date, Departments may not engage employees in any discussion of the content of the budget.

  • Before communicating with represented employees, the department must provide the Union and OHR Labor Relations with advance copies of any written correspondence that they plan to disseminate to employees and if the Department intends to meet with employees, the Union must be given sufficient advance notice and the opportunity to participate in the meetings.

  • Questions regarding union interactions may be directed to your OHR Labor Relations Specialist.

Reduction in force
EEO Income Plan (GRIP)

  • All employment actions must be conducted in accordance with discrimination laws.

  • The EEO Compliance Team will conduct an adverse impact analysis of affected positions.

  • Discriminatory intent versus impact

  • Increase in complaints

  • Retaliation

  • The team will review the demographics of the affected employees according to race, gender, and age.

  • Please ensure that you make no reference to an employee’s protected class, particularly age, or inappropriately broad statements regarding length of service when discussing retirement options.

  • You should instruct your management team to monitor the workplace to ensure against inappropriate comments, jokes, or other remarks which may be construed to relate to this issue.

Questions and answers
Questions and Answers Income Plan (GRIP)

  • Please visit the OHR Resource Library under “HR Management” then “RIF” for more information and resources.

    • Administrative Procedure 4-19, Reduction-in-Force

    • Severance Pay

    • RIF FAQs

    • Montgomery County Code, Discontinued Service Retirement

    • DSR Sample Letter

    • DSR Memo (2/4/11 OHR)

    • Personnel Regulations, Section 30, Reduction-in-Force

Ohr questions answers
OHR Questions & Answers Income Plan (GRIP)

  • Mike Woodruff –Labor (7-5061)

  • Melissa Voight Davis –Recruitment and Selection (7-5071)

  • Angela Washington – EEO (7-5015)

  • Kaye Beckley – Business Operations and Performance Management (7-5041)

  • Belinda Fulco – Benefits (7-5076)

  • Anita Brady – Training (7-5066)