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Non-Disciplinary Separation from Employment Policy

Approved By and Date:Board of Trustees04-10-2014
 Executive Leadership Team03-17-2014
 ICORE03-19-2014

Stanly Community College recognizes that in tandem with its Progressive Disciplinary Policy, it must also have policy and procedure in place to address non-disciplinary separation from employment with the College.  A non-disciplinary separation from employment may occur when an employee resigns, retires, comes to the end of a contract period, or becomes part of a reduction in force at the college. 


Non-Disciplinary Separation from Employment Procedures

Approved By and Date:Executive Leadership Team03-17-2014
 ICORE03-19-2014

A.        The word “employee” means any person who is a full-time academic or non-academic employee of Stanly Community College who is under contract.

B.        The phrase “reduction in force” means a reduction in status or elimination of position(s) due to a decline in the financial resources of the College, decline in College enrollment, reorganization, or other actions or events that result from or compel a reduction in the College’s current operations budget or a need to discontinue or eliminate a program, discipline, position, or department.

C.        “Employee-at-will” refers to an individual employed by the College at the will of either the College or the individual.  The College may dismiss an employee-at-will at any time without explanation or legal penalties; provided however, the College may not dismiss an employee-at-will if he or she falls within the statutory exceptions, common law exceptions, and/or property rights exceptions of the employee-at-will doctrine.

D.        The term “non-renewal” means conclusion of employment at the expiration date of the      employment contract.

E.         The phrase “prima facie showing” means the presentation of such evidence which, standing alone and unexplained, would maintain the proposition and warrant the conclusion of the involvement of race, sex, religion, national origin, handicap, or protected First Amendment rights in a decision of non-renewal.

F.         The word “Board” refers to the Board of Trustees of Stanly Community College.           

G.        The word “day” means each calendar day including weekends and holidays. When any time limitation prescribed by these regulations expires on a weekend or College holiday, said time limitation shall be deemed to expire on the next scheduled workday.

Resignation and Notice of Retirement

The President is authorized to accept resignations and notices of intent to retire for and on behalf of the Board of Trustees. Written notices of intent to resign or retire must be submitted to the President at least thirty (30) days prior to the last date of employment; however, such notices may be accepted by the President under shorter time frames when circumstances warrant the same and when a suitable replacement is available. Faculty members are expected to finish the semester’s work unless earlier resignation is accepted by the President.

Non-renewal of Contracts

A.        Written notice of non-renewal will be provided to the employee thirty (30) days in            advance of the            last contract date for the year.

B.        No reasons shall be given for a decision not to offer a new contract.

C.        If a new contract of employment is not to be offered, the employee shall be notified that no right to a hearing exists unless the employee believes the failure to offer a new contract has been due to the person’s race, sex, age, religion, national origin, handicap, or the exercise of protected First Amendment rights.

D.        If the employee contends that a new contract of employment is not being offered because of race, sex, age, religion, national origin, handicap, or exercise of protected First Amendment rights, the employee shall so notify the President within ten (10) days of receipt of the notice of non-renewal and shall detail the basis of the contention in writing thereby requesting a hearing before the Stanly Community College Board of Trustees.  The request must outline why the employee believes the contract non-renewal violated the employee’s rights as protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or that the non-renewal was a violation of college policy. No other grounds for appeal exist.

E.         Upon receipt of a written request for a hearing, the Board Chairman has fifteen (15) calendar days to call a special meeting of the SCC Board of Trustees.  During the proceedings, which will be conducted by the Board Chairman, the College will be represented by the college attorney and/or other college counsel, and the employee may be represented by an attorney or other advisor of his/her choice. The proceedings shall be closed to all except the non-renewed employee, his/her advisor or attorney, the President and other applicable college representative(s), the college attorney and/or other college counsel, the Director of Human Resources and the Trustees.  At the hearing, the non-renewed employee bears the burden of proving that the dismissal violated the employee’s rights as protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or that the non-renewal was a violation of college policy.

F.         The hearing will begin with the employee’s presentation of his/her case, and the President and/or his/her designee may then present a rebuttal. The fact-finding portion of the hearing shall be recorded. Deliberations of the Board following the fact-finding portion of the hearing shall not be recorded. The college attorney and/or other college counsel will be present and aide with the deliberations.

Within five (5) working days after the hearing, the Chair of the Board of Trustees will provide a written statement to the employee and President as to the Board’s intent to uphold or overturn the contract non-renewal.

Furlough

A.        Section 29.18 of North Carolina State Law 2011-145 prohibits the furlough of any public employee paid with state funds unless the furlough is ordered by the Governor while acting to balance the budget or if the Governor approves a petition by the State Board of Community Colleges to allow furloughs of community college employees in order to balance the budget.

Reduction-in-Force

A.        Stanly Community College reserves the right, during a contract period, to reduce its personnel in the event of a decline in the financial resources of the college, a decline in college enrollment, reorganization, or other actions or events that result from or compel a reduction in the college’s current operations budget or a need to discontinue or eliminate a program, discipline, position, or department. No reduction-in-force will be based upon personal malice, race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, the exercise of the right of academic freedom, or the right of freedom of speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

B.        In the event of a reduction-in-force, primary consideration will be to maintain sound and balanced programs and services consistent with the mission of the college. Secondary considerations may include other needs of the college, quality of performance, overall preparation for the job, and length of service of individual employees.

C.        Termination of part-time personnel will be considered prior to termination of full-time       personnel in all cases where it is practical to do so.

D.        Those terminated under this policy will be given first consideration for a period of one      (1) year if there are openings for which they are qualified.

E.         Modifications in or the elimination of jobs due to changes in funding for grants or             contracts are not to be treated as reductions in force subject to this policy.

F.         This policy does not govern dismissals of employees for misconduct or for lack of satisfactory performance or for any reasons specified in other policies of the College.

G.        The President, in consultation with the Executive Leadership Team, will determine when it is necessary to pursue a reduction in the work force because of a financial exigency or a bona fide reorganization.  Job duties and functions will be reviewed in order to determine possible areas of elimination. If necessary, overall operations of the college will be restructured.

H.        The Executive Leadership Team shall submit a written report to the President, within a period of time designated by the President, which identifies areas within each Team member’s jurisdiction that could be considered for a reduction-in-force.

  1. The Executive Leadership Team will identify the specific area(s) where a reduction-in-force will be made and the number of employees to be released from each area will be determined.  This determination could be based upon a combination of the following criteria:

The President and Executive Leadership Team shall monitor college enrollments, availability of financial resources, program needs and staffing requirements, both present and future. The President, in consultation with the Executive Leadership Team, shall develop parameters for reduction in-force to ensure consistency within the College.

  1. When pursuing a reduction in force, the President will prepare a report for the Board that includes factual information that demonstrates the existence of a financial exigency or demonstrates that a proposed reorganization will result in more cost effective or efficient administrative unit(s).
  2. The President shall provide written notice of termination to each employee dismissed under this reduction-in-force policy. Notifications shall be by registered mail, with return receipt requested. The notice will include an explanation of the reasons for the reduction-in-force, and an explanation of why the employee was selected for termination.
  3. Employees who are to be terminated under this policy shall be provided with as much advance notice as possible in order to avoid personal hardship. Notice will be at least thirty (30) days in advance of the proposed date of termination.
  4. Any employee terminated under this policy may appeal his/her dismissal to the Board.  The reasons for the appeal shall be limited to claims that a financial exigency does not exist, that the reorganization was not bona fide, that the selection of the employee was arbitrary, capricious, or without reason, or that the termination decision was made for reasons that are unlawful under state or federal law.  If an employee cites one of the foregoing reasons for appeal, then a hearing before the Board will be granted.
  5. An employee who has been dismissed under the provisions of this policy will be offered the same position if it is reestablished within one year of the dismissal provided the employee has retained the ability to perform the work.
  6. An employee returned to work in the same position within one year of dismissal under the provisions of this policy, will have his/her salary restored to the same level prior to dismissal.
  7. The administration will attempt to notify the dismissed employee of an opportunity to interview for an open position, first by telephone, then by registered mail with return receipt requested at the employee’s last known address.  The dismissed employee will have fifteen days after notice (or attempted notice if the employee cannot be reached at his or her last known address) to respond to said notice or he/she shall forfeit his/her rights under this provision.  In order to preserve his or her eligibility for rehire, any employee dismissed under this reduction-in-force policy has an obligation to notify human resources in writing of any changes in address or phone number during the twelve (12) month period following his or her dismissal.
  8. Seniority and sick leave do not accrue during a period of separation due to reduction-in-force.  However, upon rehire within twelve (12) months of dismissal an employee dismissed under this policy shall have all sick leave and seniority restored if employed by the College in a benefits eligible position.  Medical and Dental Insurance will be covered by the College for a period of up to twelve (12) months following separation from service because of job elimination.