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University of Tennessee Knoxville-Area Human Resources Procedure 160

SUBJECT:                     Termination of Employment

SECTION:                     100

PROCEDURE:              160



EFFECTIVE:                 7/26/2019


To assure the university meets its responsibilities and complies with internal guidelines in making termination decisions, and to establish a procedure for the separation from employment of regular exempt and non-exempt university employees, whether employee or employer initiated. Nothing contained in either HR Policy or Procedure 0160 is intended to create legally enforceable contractual rights.

Who is affected:

Any regular exempt and non-exempt employee who has a separation from regular employment from the university.


  1. Types of Termination:
  2. A list of termination codes is given in this procedure’s corresponding policy, HR 0160.
    1. Resignation- In most cases a staff member indicates an intention to resign from their position, and submits a resignation letter. Less frequently, a resignation may be submitted orally. In either case supervisors should acknowledge and accept the resignation in writing.
    2. Discharge – When a non-probationary regular staff member is to be discharged, HR Policy 0525 (Disciplinary Actions) must be followed. The department must contact Human Resources-Employee Relations prior to discharging an employee.
    3. Reduction in Force – When contemplating a reduction in force the department must contact Human Resources-Employee Relations for assistance with adherence to HR Policy 0145.
    4. Death – When an employee dies while in active service, the department should contact Human Resources-Employee Relations for support and assistance as it relates to HR Policy 0307.
    5. Quit without Notice – A staff member who fails to give notice of resignation or is absent for three consecutive work days without notice is deemed to have quit. In this situation the supervisor should contact Human Resources-Employee Relations for assistance.
    6. Retirement – Staff employees are expected to notify their immediate supervisor in writing of their intention to retire and the date of expected retirement. Copies of this intent to retire shall be sent to the employee’s human resources office. Whenever possible, reasonable advance notice of an employee’s retirement is expected.
  3. Exit Process

The exiting employee must follow the procedure set out in HR Procedure 0125 Exit Interviews.

Regular employees (faculty and staff) and graduate students who are leaving the University are required to use the electronic exit process. This needs to be initiated and completed prior to or on their last actual day worked. The employee’s department will initiate the electronic process by visiting and following the instructions. The electronic exiting process requires the involvement of several units to guarantee its completion. The electronic exit process ensures that the employee has:

    1. Returned University property in his/her possession, including the ID card (faculty and staff only);
    2. Satisfied debts owed to the University; and
    3. Arranged for release of the final paycheck via direct deposit.
  1. Benefit Continuation

Contact UT – Payroll for insurance continuation information.