Reduction in Force (RIF)

A Reduction in Force (RIF) may occur for reasons such as budget constraints, shortage of work, changes in the organization, or a need to abolish SHRA positions. A RIF decision requires an evaluation of the need for specific SHRA positions as they contribute to the department’s1 mission, goals, and provision of services.

A temporary employee working against a vacant permanent SHRA position must not be retained when a permanent SHRA employee in the same banded class (or equivalent) in the department is subject to a RIF, provided that the permanent employee is qualified and can be reassigned to perform the job duties of the position being filled by the temporary employee.

  • Employees with probationary appointments as well as trainees with less than 12 months’ service must be terminated before any employee in the same or a related classification with a permanent appointment, provided that the permanent employee can perform the tasks of the probationary employee or trainee.
  • Temporary employees, probationary employees, and employees with time-limited appointments may be separated without following RIF procedures.
  • Consideration for reduction in force of permanent employees includes, but is not limited to, the following factors:
    • Which positions are most vital to the department in the delivery of services
    • Relative skills, knowledge, efficiency, and productivity of employees
    • Consideration of equal employment factors to avoid adverse impact
    • Length of service of employees (but not seniority-driven)
      •     In determining the length of service, an eligible veteran shall be accorded one year of state service for each year or fraction thereof of military service, up to       a maximum of five (5) years credit.
    • Appointment Type

1“Department” for this purpose is defined as an institutional division with a distinct organizational unit code (OUC) and with budgetary authority and oversight at the”3D” (dean, director, or department head) level, including center and institute directors and heads of major extramural research programs.

Employment Rights


Before a reduction in force occurs — and after receiving Human Resources’ formal approval — the hiring department provides verbal and written notification to the employee. Written notice must be given at least 30 calendar days in advance of the separation date. Notification includes:

  • The reason for the reduction in force
  • The effective date (at least 30 days following notification)
  • Direction to contact Human Resources to obtain information on: benefits, priority reemployment, completion of required application forms, aid in seeking employment, and eligibility for Unemployment Insurance benefits
  • The amount of severance pay due
  • The right of permanent career employees to appeal the reduction in force


Permanent career employees separated by RIF may appeal the separation only on the grounds listed in the SHRA Employee Grievance Policy. Appeal may be made through the University’s grievance procedure by contacting Employee Relations at 515-6575 or directly to the state’s Office of Administrative Hearings.

Exit Interview

The university’s exit interview program is designed to obtain information vital to promoting positive work environments. It gives exiting employees an opportunity to talk about their work experiences at NC State, share feedback, voice concerns, and make suggestions. Employees are encouraged to complete an Exit Interview online or print a hard copy and return the completed form to Employee Relations, Campus Box 7210.

Probationary Period

Employees who have a break in state service of more than 31 calendar days may be required to serve a new probationary period if the duties of the new position are significantly different from those previously held. Employees must be notified in writing if a new probationary period is required.

Re-employment Priority Consideration

Once an employee who has reached “career status” (i.e., employed in state government for the immediate previous 12 months) is notified of RIF, the employee has priority.

Within all State agencies, an employee officially notified of reduction in force shall receive priority consideration. If it is determined that an eligible employee and any other applicant have “substantially equal qualifications,” then the eligible RIF employee must receive the job offer. However, the priority for employees separated by reduction in force (RIF) and the priority for employees with less than 10 years of service subject to the NC Human Resources Act separated from exempt policy-making or exempt managerial positions are equal. “Substantially equal qualifications” occur when the employer cannot make a reasonable determination that the job-related qualifications held by one applicant are significantly better suited for the position than the job-related qualifications held by another applicant.

Priority begins at the time of written notification and remains in effect for 12 months. To claim priority and apply for a position, employees must complete employment applications for the University. Priority consideration for an eligible employee can be terminated due to a number of factors. See OSHR policy on RIF Priority for information.

Support Services

Job Search Assistance

It is valuable for an employee to begin the job search process immediately after notification of RIF. Employees meet with an Human Resources Consultant in Human Resources to discuss employment options and the search process. The Consultant assists the employee with application completion, resume development, interviewing techniques, job search techniques, and networking. In addition, the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) has a number of career resources available.

Faculty and Staff Assistance Program

The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP), provides no cost, confidential and professional assessment and referral services for employees who may be experiencing personal or work-related concerns. ComPsych EAP Services provides services and support to employees and their dependents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Employees can contact ComPsych by calling 1-866-467-0467 or by visiting The web site login and password for NC State participants is FASAP. Additional information can also be provided by Employee Relations, 515-6575.

RIF Compensation & Benefits

Severance Pay

Severance may be paid to an eligible employee who does not obtain other employment in state government by the effective date of the reduction in force. Payment is based on total state service, salary at separation, and age at separation. Exception: If an employee was promoted within the last 12 months, the salary prior to promotion is used to calculate the severance payment. Final approval to pay severance must be given by the Office of State Budget Management.

The period covered by severance pay is not credited for state service or retirement service. Employees may continue to receive severance pay while working outside of state government or in a temporary capacity. Payment is discontinued once re-employment is obtained with state government.

Employees receiving severance may not be employed under any contractual agreement with a state agency. Probationary, time limited, temporary, or trainee employees are not eligible for severance pay.

Example of Payment:

59 year old employee, 23 years of service, annual salary $55,000
Eligible for 4 months of pay ($18,333.33) plus an age adjustment factor equal to 2.5% of annual salary for each full year of age over 39, not to exceed 22 years, and not to exceed the service-based component.  So the age-based payment in this case is another $18,333.33, and the total severance payout is $36,666.66.

Eligibility Based on Service

Years of Service Payment
Less than 1 year 2 weeks base salary
1 but less than 5 years 1 month base salary
5 but less than 10 years 2 months base salary
10 but less than 20 years 3 months base salary
20 or more years 4 months base salary


The following deductions must be withheld from severance payments:

Deduction Amount
State Withholding Based on your current withholding status
OASDI (Social Security) 6.2% of gross amount
HI Tax (Medicare) 1.45% of gross amount
Federal Withholding Based on your current withholding status on W-4
NC Withholding Based on your current withholding status on NC-4, after exempt limit met (see below)
All Campus Card Based on info provided by All Campus Card Network department
Parking Fines Based on info provided by Transportation Department
Garnishments, Support orders, Levies Based on directive provided
Negative leave balances Based on leave balances


The following deductions may be withheld from severance payments. If interested, contact Payroll at 515-4350.

  • State Employees Credit Union
  • Optional Insurances:  SEANC Term, SEANC AD&D
  • UE Local 150
  • Parking fees

The following deductions will not be withheld from severance payments:

  • Gym access, gym locker
  • Medical insurances including health, dental, vision, etc.
  • TSERS Retirement
  • 403b, 401k and Deferred Compensation
  • 401K loan payments

Unemployment Insurance

Employees separated due to reduction in force may collect unemployment insurance provided they meet the normal eligibility requirements. The local office of the Employment Security Commission should be contacted at 888-737-0259 for details.

Direct Deposit Enrollment

Direct deposit enrollment will be canceled after payment of the last severance check.

Health Insurance

Please click here for more information.

Continuation Options for Other Benefits

Please click here for more information.

Retirement Options

Please click here for more information.

Leave Balances

Please click here for more information.


Longevity pay is paid to employees with at least 10 years of state service.  Payment is made annually based on an employee’s salary and total state service.  Eligible employees who are reduced in force receive a pro-rated payment.

Reduction in Force Guidelines

For information regarding State of North Carolina RIF Guidelines, please go to:


For more information, contact Employee Relations at 919-513-0700.