Reduction in Force

Reduction-In-Force Resources

A reduction-in-force can be a stressful experience, not only for the employees who are directly affected, but also for their families, friends, supervisors and co-workers. This site was created for state employees who may be notified and/or separated by reduction-in-force, but also for the many others whose lives may be touched by this process.

On this site you will find a Reduction-in-Force Resource Guide to Benefits,  and most importantly, advice from our Employee Assistance Program about how to cope with the disruption and uncertainty that reduction-in-force brings.

As state employees, we may gain strength by relying on each other in these difficult times. Take heart in the fact that, at one time or another, many other state employees have been through this experience and have had similar feelings and circumstances. Your fellow state employees can be a wonderful source of support.

We hope these resources will help to smooth your transition. Please feel free to contact the Office of State Human Resources and let us know how we can help.

If you have recommendations or suggestions regarding this site, please contact us at (919) 807-4800 or click on mailbox tab above.


Please note: HB 834, signed into law by the Governor on August 21, 2013, made changes to the state’s Reduction In Force Priority policy. Key changes are that the priority given to the employee whose position has been reduced is satisfied (and terminated) when the employee accepts (or refuses) an offered position at the same or higher salary grade/salary grade equivalency or the same or higher salary rate as that of the position held by the employee at the time of official notification of reduction in force. Priority is also satisfied (and terminated) at the completion of the 12-month priority period.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the length of the probationary period?

Effective October 1, 2015, with the signing of House Bill 495, a "career State employee" means a State employee or an employee of a local entity who is covered by this Chapter pursuant to G.S. 126-5(a)(2) who:

  1. Is in a permanent position with a permanent appointment, and
  2. Has been continuously employed by the State of North Carolina or a local entity as provided in G.S. 126-5(a)(2) in a position subject to the North Carolina Human Resources Act for the immediate 12 preceding months.

A "probationary State employee" means a State employee who has not been continuously employed by the State as outlined above. Not all state employees are subject to this 12-month probationary period. Employees who are hired by a State agency, department or university in a sworn law enforcement position and who are required to complete a formal training program prior to assuming law enforcement duties will become career State employees only after being employed for 24 continuous months.

For how long does a disciplinary action remain active?

A disciplinary action will remain active until: the manager or supervisor notes in the employee’s personnel file that the reasons for the disciplinary action has been resolved or corrected; or for performance-related disciplinary actions, the performance evaluation process documents a summary rating that reflects an acceptable level of performance overall and satisfactory performance in the area cited in the warning or other disciplinary action, or eighteen (18) months have passed since issuance of the warning or disciplinary action, the employee does not have another active warning or disciplinary action which occurred within the last 18 months.

An employee has an active disciplinary action. What happens to that action if the employee transfers to another department?

When an employee transfers to another department or unit, any active written warnings or disciplinary actions will transfer with the personnel file of the employee and will remain active at the new work unit until removed by the new employer or until the expiration of the disciplinary action.

An employee exhibits patterns of excessive absenteeism. Does bringing a doctor’s note automatically excuse the employee or exempt the employee from possible disciplinary action?

No. Having a doctor’s note does not automatically constitute an excused absence, nor does it serve as an automatic justification for approval of sick leave.

An employee has requested vacation leave, but has not been granted that leave based on the business need. The employee has brought this to the attention of employee relations. What rights does the employee have in taking that leave?

While an employee may have sufficient leave accumulated, it is at the discretion of management to grant such leave, based on the agency/university business need (so as to not create an undue hardship on the agency or its employees).

Who gets a dismissal letter? Is it required that a probationary employee receive a dismissal letter?

No policy currently requires written notification be provided to probationary employees being terminated. It is recommended that dismissals be documented for future reference.  Some agencies provide employees who are post-probationary, but not yet career status, with all the protections afforded to employees with career status, while others do not. 

If an employee has been properly issued notice of a predisciplinary conference and does not appear for the conference, must management reschedule?

No. The pre-disciplinary conference is designed to give the employee the opportunity to respond to the allegations and proposed disciplinary action giving rise to the conference. If the employee chooses not to attend (for reasons other than those deemed valid by management), management may move forward with its decision based on existing facts/evidence. Should management move forward with such disciplinary action, the employee cannot appeal solely on the basis that he/she was not present for the pre-disciplinary conference.

If a supervisor keeps a separate “personnel” file (within the department/unit), is that information considered part of the “official” personnel file?

By definition, a personnel file consists of any employment-related or personal information gathered by the agency, the Retirement Systems Division of the Department of State Treasurer, or by the Office of State Human Resources; therefore, personnel information not housed in an agency or university’s central human resources office may be considered as part of the personnel file.

What documentation is necessary to process a settlement agreement/back pay/front pay?

To process a settlement agreement that involves payment of wages (for example, back pay award, etc.), the following documents must be submitted: Statement of settlement approval from OSHR, a copy of the settlement agreement, and a copy of signed PD-14 (Statement of Back Pay/Front Pay) approved by OSHR and OSBM.

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