A. Each covered institution shall adopt one or more severance policies for its eligible participating Covered Employees, applicable to voluntary or 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 or policies for eligible participating Covered Employees shall be determined by the institution’s governing body. 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 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 its effective date of the initial Management Agreement, who otherwise would be eligible for severance benefits under the Workforce Transition Act (§ 2.2-3200 et seq.), and who are separated by a covered institution because of a reduction in workforce shall have the same preferential hiring rights with state agencies and other executive branch institutions as other state employees have under § 2.2-3201. Conversely, a covered institution shall recognize the hiring preference conferred by § 2.2-3201 on state employees who were hired by a state agency or executive branch institution before the covered institution’s effective date of the initial Management Agreement and who were 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 § 23-38.116 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 shall be a participating Covered Employee for purposes of this article. Classification decisions made under this subsection and applying to employees transferring between state agencies or other executive branch institutions and covered institutions, or 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 shall be presumed appropriate, and a separated employee who grieves the classification decision shall bear the burden of demonstrating that the classification violates the separated employee’s preferential hiring rights.
D. An employee’s transition on the effective date of a covered institution’s initial Management Agreement from being an employee of a public institution of higher education to being a Covered Employee of a covered institution 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 or policies adopted pursuant to subsection A or the Workforce Transition Act (§ 2.2-3200 et seq.) applicable to that employee.
2005, cc. 933, 945.