A. Each covered institution shall adopt a severance policy for its eligible participating covered employees that is applicable to voluntary and involuntary separations, including reductions in workforce. The provisions of the Workforce Transition Act (§ 2.2-3200 et seq.) shall not apply to participating covered employees.
B. The terms and conditions of a covered institution’s severance policy for eligible participating covered employees shall be determined by the institution’s governing board. The covered institution and the Board of the Virginia Retirement System shall negotiate a formula according to which cash severance benefits may be converted to years of age or creditable service for participating covered employees who participate in the Virginia Retirement System.
C. Covered employees who (i) were employees of a covered institution and were covered by the provisions of Chapter 29 (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.) of Title 2.2 prior to the effective date of the initial management agreement, (ii) would otherwise be eligible for severance benefits under the Workforce Transition Act (§ 2.2-3200 et seq.), and (iii) are separated by a covered institution because of a reduction in workforce have the same preferential hiring rights with state agencies and other executive branch institutions as other state employees have under § 2.2-3201. A covered institution shall recognize the hiring preference conferred by § 2.2-3201 on state employees who were (a) hired by a state agency or executive branch institution before the covered institution’s effective date of the initial management agreement and (b) separated after that date by that state agency or executive branch institution because of a reduction in workforce. If a covered institution has adopted a classification system pursuant to § 23.1-1021 that differs from the classification system administered by the Department of Human Resource Management, the covered institution shall classify the separated employee according to its classification system and shall place the separated employee appropriately. Any such separated employee who is hired by a covered institution is a participating covered employee for purposes of this article. Classification decisions that are made pursuant to this subsection and apply to employees transferring between state agencies, between other executive branch institutions and covered institutions, and between covered institutions as a result of a reduction in force and with the preferential hiring rights provided in this subsection and in § 2.2-3201 are presumed appropriate, and a separated employee who grieves the classification decision bears the burden of demonstrating that the classification violates the separated employee’s preferential hiring rights.
D. An employee’s transition from being an employee of a public institution of higher education to being a covered employee of a covered institution on the effective date of a covered institution’s initial management agreement shall not, in and of itself, constitute a severance of that employee or a reduction in force that would make either the covered institution’s severance policy adopted pursuant to subsection A or the Workforce Transition Act (§ 2.2-3200 et seq.) applicable to that employee.
2005, cc. 933, 945, § 23-38.120; 2016, c. 588.