Section 14. Layoff and Reemployment
14.1 Definition of Layoff
The County may layoff employees because of lack of work, lack of funds, reorganization, or otherwise when in the best interest of the County.
14.2 Notice of Layoff
The department head will give at least thirty (30) days advance written notice to employees to be laid off except in an emergency situation in which case the Human Resources Director may authorize a shorter period of time.
14.3 Precedence by Employment Status
No permanent employee shall be laid off while employees working in extra-help, seasonal, temporary, provisional, or probationary status are retained in the same classification unless that employee has been offered the extra-help, seasonal, temporary, or provisional appointment. The order of layoff among employees not having permanent status shall be according to the following categories:
- Extra-Help, Term, or Seasonal
- Probationary – among probationary employees in a given classification, order of layoff shall be according to reverse order of seniority as determined by total continuous County civil service, not continuous time in that probationary period. Employees in flexibly-staffed positions serving a second probationary period (at a higher level classification in the series) shall not be considered probationary for layoff purposes.
Layoffs shall be by job classification according to reverse order of seniority as determined by total continuous County civil service, except as specified above. For employees within the Court, all Court service time counts in determining seniority within the Court. If an employee transfers or otherwise moves from the Court to a County position, or if an employee transfers or otherwise moves from a County position to the Court, only the employee’s time in the Classified service counts in determining seniority for purposes of layoff. Subject to Court participation, the County and Union agree to reopen this language within the first six (6) months following the effective date of this agreement.
The following provisions shall apply in computing total continuous service:
- The following shall count as County service:
- Time spent on military leave
- Leave to accept temporary employment of less than one (1) year outside the County government, and
- Leave to accept a position in the unclassified service.
- Periods of time during which an employee is required to be absent from his/her position by reason of an injury or disease for which they are entitled to and currently receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits shall be included in computing length of service for the purpose of determining that employee’s seniority rights.
- Time worked in an extra-help or seasonal status shall not count as County service.
- Time worked in a permanent, probationary, provisional, or temporary status shall count as County service. Part-time status shall count at the rate of one (1) year of continuous employment for each 2080 straight-time hours worked.
If two (2) or more employees have the same seniority, the examination scores for their present classification shall determine seniority.
14.4 Identification of Positions for Layoff
- The classifications in a flexibly staffed series are treated as one classification for purposes of layoff.
- When a classification has formal numbered options, each of which specifies separate hiring criteria, each option shall be treated as a separate classification for layoff purposes.
- A displaced employee will be transferred to any vacancy with equivalent FTE status in his/her classification in his/her home department. For the purpose of this section, the following shall be considered “departments”:
Agriculture, Weights and Measures
Assessor, County-Clerk Recorder & Chief Elections Officer
Board of Supervisors
Child Support Services
County Managers Office/Clerk of the Board
Fire Protection Services
Health System – San Mateo Medical Center
Health System – All Other Health
Human Resources Department
Human Services Agency
Information Services Department
Planning and Building
Tax Collector/Treasurer/Revenue Services
If no vacancy with equivalent FTE status exists in the employee’s classification in the home department an employee shall have the right to interview for any other vacancies, County-wide, in his/her classification, or other classifications for which they have bumping rights. Employees who choose this option shall have a list of all vacancies provided by the County. The County will arrange for interviews for vacancies in which the employee is interested.
- Employees who are notified that they will be laid off shall have the choice to take a voluntary demotion within the same department to any classification, at the employee’s discretion, in which the employee had prior probationary or permanent status provided such a position is held by an employee with less seniority.
- On a departmental basis, displace the employee in the same classification having the least seniority in County service. Displaced employees may request the Human Resources Director to place the employee’s name on the promotional eligible list or open eligible list for any classification for which, in the Human Resources Director’s opinion, the employee is qualified. The employee’s name will be above the names of persons who have not been displaced, ranked in the order specified in subsection 14.3.
- Pursuant to Rule XI, Sections 11 and 12 of the Civil Service Rules as revised, an employee may, with the approval of the Human Resources Director and the department head, demote or transfer to a vacant position for which they possess the necessary skills and fitness.
- A transfer, for layoff purposes is defined as a change from one position to another in the same classification or in another classification, the salary range of which is not more than ten percent (10%) higher.
- Part-time employees shall not displace full-time employees, unless the part-time employee has held full-time status in the classification within the last five (5) years.
- In addition to all other options, employees in classifications at risk of being eliminated, as determined by the affected department head, may also be placed on the reinstatement list.
14.6 Names of Employees Laid Off to be Placed on Reemployment and General Eligible Lists
The names of employees laid off shall be placed on reemployment eligible lists as hereinafter specified. Former employees appointed from a reemployment eligible list shall be restored all rights accrued prior to being laid off, such as sick leave, vacation credits, and credit for years of service. However, such reemployed employees shall not be eligible for benefits for which they received compensation at the time of or subsequent to the date they were laid off.
The departmental reemployment eligible list for each classification shall consist of the names of employees and former employees having probationary or permanent status, and who were laid off or whose positions were reallocated downward as a result of reclassification. The rank order on such lists shall be determined by relative seniority as specified in subsection 14.3. Such lists shall take precedence over all other eligible lists in making certifications to the department in which the employee worked.
The general reemployment eligible list for each classification shall consist of the names of employees and former employees having probationary or permanent status, and who were laid off or whose positions were reallocated downward as a result of reclassification. The rank order on such lists shall be determined by relative seniority. Such lists shall take precedence over all other eligible lists, except departmental reemployment eligible lists, in making certifications on a County-wide basis.
The provisions of this subsection 14.6 shall not apply to employees who have accepted severance pay as defined in Section 15 of this MOU entitled “Severance Pay” upon termination of employment.
14.7 Abolition of Position
The provisions of this Section 14 shall apply when an occupied position is abolished resulting in a classified employee losing status in his/her assigned classification in his/her department.