15: End of Employment


To allow the department time to plan for such a transition with minimal disruption of service, appropriate written notice from you is expected. Non exempt staff are expected to give at least two weeks written notice. Exempt staff are expected to give at least one month written notice. Notice of resignation is expected to be a "working" notice to allow your supervisor an opportunity to spend productive work time with you to complete projects or to have you help train whoever will be assuming your responsibilities. For that reason, it is seldom possible to allow a resignation notice to be taken as vacation time or other paid time off. However, you will be paid for any accrued, unused vacation as part of your final paycheck. There is no payout for sick time.

Failure to give appropriate written working notice may affect your consideration for future employment at Swarthmore.


Exit Interviews

You will need to schedule an exit interview with Human Resources before your last day. The purpose of the exit interview is twofold. The first purpose is to discuss the status and disposition of your employee benefits and your rights under College policy and state and federal law. Staff members who leave employment and whose employer-sponsored benefits end as a result may be able to continue their insured benefits coverage at their own cost for a defined period, as long as they were not discharged due to gross misconduct. The second purpose is to share with Human Resources any information about your working conditions or experiences in your position that you believe would be helpful for the College to be aware of as it considers selecting your successor. Of course, significant perceived problems in the workplace can and should be brought forward at any time and should not wait until you've made a decision to leave.


Permananent Layoff / End of Position

On occasion, organizational needs or changes may require existing non benefit eligible staff positions to be eliminated. When it becomes necessary to eliminate non benefit eligible staff positions Swarthmore strives to handle such layoffs in a systematic and consistent way throughout the organization and to help identify opportunities that may be available to the staff that will be affected.

If another position is not secured by the individual we expect departments to give at least as much layoff notice to staff as we expect from staff to give when they resign. At minimum, non‑exempt staff should be given two weeks notice of layoff or position elimination; exempt staff should be given one month. The department may offer comparable pay in lieu of notice. However, any accrued vacation should be paid as part of the final paycheck. There is no payout for sick time.

Following a voluntary separation of employment or a lay-off, the College may decide to immediately cancel access to certain sensitive computer programs or to the computer assigned to the individual. However, the College will insure that the affected employee will have access to all their personal files and will provide for the continuation of an employee's e-mail privileges for a transition period of thirty (30) days. Alternately, the employee may request a forwarding message be placed on his/her e-mail account for a period of thirty (30) days.



Supervisors should consult with their department head and with Human Resources before discharging a staff member for cause.

Discharge for cause either for failure to meet performance expectations or for misconduct should be documented in accordance with established College guidelines for performance improvement counseling or warnings as appropriate.

Discharge due to performance issues or misconduct may affect consideration for future employment with Swarthmore and COBRA rights.

Once discharge for cause has been established as the appropriate action according to College guidelines, the discharge is effective immediately and there is no provision for severance pay. However, any accrued vacation should be paid as part of the final paycheck. There is no payout for sick time.

Staff members who have been discharged and who believe College policy has not been followed or administered appropriately may appeal the termination through the grievance review process.


Resignation In Lieu of Discharge

At departmental discretion, an individual may be given the option to resign in lieu of discharge for cause. This may be appropriate in situations where the staff member has not been able to meet performance expectations and where no misconduct was involved. In cases of serious misconduct warranting immediate discharge, a resignation option is generally not appropriate.

A staff member who accepts an opportunity to resign in lieu of discharge should do so with the understanding that the grievance review process is not available since that process is intended to review actions taken by a department and a decision to resign is the staff member's own action.


Death of a Staff Member

If you are a hiring supervisor and you have been notified of the death of a staff member, please contact Human Resources for assistance and to report the death for purposes of benefits administration. It will be helpful if you can provide the name, phone number, and address of a close relative or other contact since staff members sometimes have not kept beneficiary and emergency contact information updated in their central records.

In general, the estate of the individual should receive the final paycheck, which should reflect any accrued vacation.


Final Paychecks

Final paychecks for staff members who are ending employment should be available at the next regular payday. If the terminating staff member has items that belong to the College or has an outstanding financial obligation to Swarthmore that was incurred in their role as a staff member of the College, the actual cash value of such items or financial obligation may be withheld from final pay, pending return of the items or payment of the obligation.

At the end of employment you will be paid for any accrued, unused vacation as part of your final paycheck. Your last day worked is considered your termination date. Payout of vacation does not extend your employment date for purposes of benefits eligibility. There is no payment for unused sick time.


Giving References

Staff members who are leaving the College sometimes ask supervisors or others for work references. The Human Resources Office verifies only dates of employment and does not release or verify any performance information, reasons for discharge, or rehire consideration.

Supervisors who are comfortable doing so may make positive work recommendations or give positive references about a terminating or former staff member. Supervisors who do not wish to offer reference information should direct inquiries to HR for employment verification only.