SECTION INDEX:    Workforce Management Plan

1    Purpose

2    Reference

3    Application

4    Guidance

4.1    At-Risk

4.2    Non-voluntary Options

4.2.1    Reassignment

4.2.2    Reduction in Hours

4.2.3    Job Sharing

4.2.4    Furloughs

4.2.5    Lay-off

4.3    Voluntary Options

4.3.1    Voluntary Absence Without Pay

4.4    Recall

4.5    Benefits Continuation


To assist both the City and its employees in managing workforce changes resulting from a fluctuation in City resources.




This Policy applies to individuals who are in full-time or part-time regular positions and have successfully completed their probationary period, unless provisions are established otherwise by contract or statute (e.g. Civil Service Rules, Labor Agreements, and Individual Employment Contract or Memorandum of Understanding).

This policy does not apply to temporary employees, seasonal employees, instructors (as defined in Policy 9-Employment Status 4.5), military replacement employees, or independent contractors. It also does not apply to project funded employees. The loss of a project funded position will not be considered an at- risk position, even though it might happen during a time when lay-offs of regular employees are being announced or implemented.


The City of Olympia wants to employ and retain a highly skilled workforce to deliver City services. When there is a change in available resources needed to deliver services the following will form the basis for workforce management decisions:

•    We will retain a highly qualified and talented staff.

•    Compensation and benefits will remain competitive.

•    Each department has unique needs and is encouraged to be creative in identifying alternatives suitable to the department and resource limitations.

•    We will abide by all policies, labor agreements, contracts, and federal, state and local laws in all decisions made regarding workforce management.

The City is committed to keeping employees apprised of the circumstances and status of the activation of this policy. It will be the responsibility of department directors to communicate with their employees about the conditions under which this policy may be implemented.

4.1. AT-RISK

City employees whose employment status may be changed as a result of a fluctuation in City resources will be deemed “At-Risk”. This status is most likely to occur when reductions are part of the budget planning process. This process requires that the City Manager make recommendations to the City Council as part of a budget process and the City Council ultimately approves, disapproves or modifies the City Manager’s recommendations.

a.    Department Directors or designees will let employees know if their positions are likely to be affected.

b.    At-risk employees will have the opportunity to complete a packet of information about their interests, knowledge, skills, and abilities so they may be considered for reassignment to positions that are vacant.

c.    Departments are expected to consider reassigning At-Risk employees first before opening positions to other employees or to candidates outside the City. All policies pertaining to Reassignment, section 4.2.1 below, will be used in making hiring decisions when there are At-Risk employees available.

d.    If a reassignment is offered and refused by the At-Risk employee, the At-Risk employee will no longer be considered At-Risk and their status will change to laid-off or reduced in hours.

e.    Notice of At-Risk status will be considered as notice for lay-off or other reduction options in this policy.

f.    When final decisions have been made regarding reductions in force, all employees remaining on the At-Risk list will be informed of their new status (laid-off or reduced in hours) and placed on the Recall List.

g.    Updated information will be shared with the employee. While the city will do its best to keep employees informed, at-risk employees are encouraged to seek out the information they need to manage their employment status.



Reassignment is defined as moving a current employee whose position is being eliminated to another position that is vacant.

a.    The employee must be qualified to perform the duties of the vacant position, or must be able to be trained to perform the duties within a reasonable period of time. Whether an employee is qualified is within the sole discretion of the department director.

b.    Reassigned employees may, at the discretion of the department director, be required to complete a new introductory or initial evaluation period of up to six months.

c.    Employees being considered for reassignment may be required to participate in a competitive selection process, if more than one employee is eligible for the vacancy.

d.    Decisions regarding salary for those employees reassigned will be handled in accordance with Policy 17- Personnel Actions, 4.2 In-Training, 4.3 Promotions, 4.4 Demotions, 4.5 Transfer to Same Job Class, and 4.6 Transfer to Different Job Class.

e.    If the employee who is being reassigned under this policy chooses not to accept the reassignment, the employee will be subject to lay-off or other actions deemed necessary to address the change in available resources needed to deliver services.


Reduction in hours is defined as the reduction in FTE or funding of a position. This may apply to one or more positions, and be voluntary or mandatory, temporary or permanent, depending on operational necessity.

a.    The City will let affected employees know as soon as is practicable if their positions are to be reduced or potentially reduced in hours. It will attempt to give at least 60 days’ notice.

b.    The City will continue health and welfare benefits for affected employees for 90 days after the commencement of the reduction in hours. The benefit will be continued at the FTE level in existence for the employee at the time of the reduction in hours. After 90 days, employee benefits will be maintained and premiums deducted as required by law (COBRA).

c.    Vacation and sick leave and Holiday Pay will accrue on a prorated basis according to the budgeted FTE.

d.    If funding becomes available to restore hours, they will be restored in whatever manner is deemed operationally necessary by the department director.

e.    If the employee whose hours are being reduced chooses not to accept reduced hours, the employee will be subject to lay-off or other actions deemed necessary to address the change in available resources needed to deliver services.


In a lay-off/reduction in force, the department director may consider directing two full-time employees who are in the same classification to share a position in order to avoid laying-off one of the two employees. The department director may also ask for volunteers willing to share jobs, or may consider employee-initiated proposals to share jobs when lay-offs/reductions in force are considered likely to occur in the near future.

a.    The City will continue health and welfare benefits to both employees at the FTE level that exists prior to the commencement of the job share for 90 days. Vacation accruals, sick leave accruals, and holiday pay will be provided at the FTE level associated with the Job Share.

b.    Job Share employees will be placed on the Recall List for recall to full-time employment.

c.    If a full-time position in the same classification as that of the employees who are sharing a position becomes available, that position will be apportioned between the Job Sharing employees in the interest of returning them to full-time employment.

d.    If one of the employees participating in a lay-off/reduction in force induced Job Share arrangement subsequently leaves City employment, the remaining employee shall be offered an opportunity to return to full-time employment without competition. If the remaining employee does not accept the offer of full-time employment, and management considers full-time employment to be an operational necessity, management may at its discretion attempt to continue the Job Share arrangement or discharge the remaining employee. If the remaining employee is discharged, that action will be considered a lay-off and the affected employee will be eligible for all of the rights, privileges, and benefits described in Section 4.2.5 of this Policy.


The department director may direct an absence from the workplace of up to 3 (three) months per calendar year per employee to address changes in available resources needed to deliver services, relieve employees from duty during drops in workload, or as part of an overall strategy to avoid lay-offs. The use of furloughs is to be limited to situations where revenue shortfalls are expected to result in lay-offs/reduction in force; furlough status is not appropriate in the absence of these conditions, as it is not intended to be used as another form of unpaid time off or leave absences for any reason.

a.    Employees will be returned to their positions and FTE level when their furlough is over.

b.    The City will continue health and welfare benefits during a furlough.

c.    Vacation and sick leave accruals will continue up to the maximum accrual allowed by policy during a furlough, though employees on furlough status may not use accrued vacation or sick leave, as the intent of placing an employee on furlough status is to reduce overall expenditures.

d.    Furlough status may be rotated among employees in a workgroup as part of an overall expenditure reduction strategy.

e.    Furlough status is temporary and employees placed on furlough can anticipate a return to work within 3 (three) months.

4.2.5. LAY-OFF

In the event of a lack of financial resources and the inability for a department to utilize an alternative employment option, the department director may decide that a City employee will be involuntarily separated from City service.

a.    The City will let affected employees know their positions are going to be eliminated. The City will attempt to give at least 60 days’ notice.

b.    The City will continue health and welfare benefits at the FTE level that exists prior to the commencement of the lay-off for 90 days after an employee is no longer working in a benefits eligible position for the City. After 90 days, the employee will be responsible for the cost of continuing these benefits through COBRA.

c.    An employee’s accrued vacation leave and compensatory time will be cashed out based on the effective date of the lay-off and in accordance with provisions and limits found within Policy or labor agreements.

d.    Laid-off employees will be automatically placed on the Recall List.

e.    Laid-off employees will have the following resources:

1.    Information on 1) health and welfare benefits; 2) potential resources for job searches; and 3) re-hire procedures will be available through Human Resources.

2.    Employees still in active status may spend work time in job search activities up to 8 hours in any week. More time can be negotiated with the department director. Within reason, employees may use City computers, telephones, fax machines and copiers for their job search efforts.



A Voluntary Absence Without Pay Absence (“VAWOP Absence”) is defined as a period of time during which an employee has voluntarily elected to take a leave of absence from the workplace in an unpaid status, even though the employee may have accrued time available to utilize. A VAWOP must have defined start and end date and may not exceed six (6) months. A VAWOP will not result in an official reduction in the employee’s position’s FTE status. VAWOP absences may be approved at the sole discretion of the department director.

a.    The City will continue health and welfare benefits at the FTE level that exists prior to the commencement of the VAWOP for ninety (90) days. After ninety (90) days, the employee will be responsible for the cost of continuing these benefits.

b.    Vacation leave and sick leave will not accrue while in VAWOP status.

c.    A VAWOP that exceeds 10 days is considered a break in service. Therefore, an employee’s anniversary date will be adjusted by the length of the break.

d.    If funding becomes available, department directors may conclude a VAWOP absence earlier than the previously agreed-upon end date, as deemed operationally necessary.

e.    An employee in VAWOP status will still be subject to lay-off or other actions deemed necessary to address a reduction in City financial resources.


An employee who was laid-off as a result of a change in available resources needed to deliver services, may be re-employed in their former classification, in a similar classification for which s/he is qualified, in a lower classification within the same series, or any other classification upon City Manager approval. Re-employment may be in any department or work group in the City organization. An employee is considered, at the sole discretion of the department director, to be “qualified” if they are fully able to perform the duties of the job.

a.    An employee who is laid-off or has experienced a reduction in hours will be automatically placed on the City’s Recall List.

1.    Employees on the Recall List will have reinstatement rights for 2 (two) years from the date of lay-off.

2.    The City will make a reasonable effort to notify the employee of all positions that meet the above criteria.

3.    Employees may remain on the Recall List even if they accept other employment outside the City.

4.    Employees may only be removed from the Recall List within the 2 year period if Human Resources receives a written request by the employee to do so.

5.    It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure Human Resources has current contact information (address, phone number, etc).

b.    The City will consider employees on the At-Risk List and Lay-off List simultaneously.

c.    For 0.50 FTE or greater vacancies, those on the At-Risk/Lay-off List who were in a 0.50 FTE or greater will be given priority over those previously assigned to 0.49 FTE or less, for that vacancy. For 0.49 FTE or less vacancies, all employees 0.10 - 1.00 FTE on the At Risk/Lay-off List will be considered simultaneously.

d.    Within reason or in compliance with the terms of a specific agreement, employees who have been notified they may be laid-off may use City computers, printers, telephones, fax machines and copiers for their job search efforts as long as they are City employees. These services are specifically made available to assist the laid-off employee in a job search and for no other reason.

e.    Laid-off employees on the Recall List may be required to participate in a competitive selection process if more than one employee is eligible for the vacancy, which may include pre-employment tests, background checks, a physical examination, drug test, or other process deemed necessary by the hiring supervisor.

f.    The City reserves the right to determine the job class and rate of pay to which an employee will be assigned if recalled to work. Upon re-hire, salary, benefits, and leave will be based on the policies in place at the time of reinstatement. Salary will be determined based on Policy 17-Personnel Actions 4.3 (promotion), 4.4 (demotion), or 4.5 and 4.6 (transfer). Vacation accrual rates will be based on the employee’s adjusted re-hire date. Any un-accessed sick leave will be reinstated upon hire.

g.    At the discretion of the department director, re-hired employees may be required to complete a new initial evaluation period of up to six months.


Unless directed otherwise, the City will continue providing health benefits for the employee who is laid-off for 90 days after the employee stops work as a full-time regular employee.

Revision history: February 2018; October 2013. Superseded: Administrative Guideline Workforce Management Plan”.