(601G) Kansas Athletics Staff: Termination

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Updated 10/12


It is the policy of Kansas Athletics to handle the termination of any employee in a fair and consistent manner. “Termination” refers to an employee’s discontinuance of service by either resignation or retirement, as well as the release of an employee by Kansas Athletics.


A two (2)-week written notice is ordinarily expected from all employees who voluntarily terminate employment. At the option of Kansas Athletics, an employee may be placed upon administrative leave with pay, or the effective date of the resignation letter may be moved to an earlier date. The employee in either situation shall be paid to the resignation effective date.


Kansas Athletics and KU recognize the high value of long-time employees and the importance of celebrating their contributions. The University annually hosts a retirement dinner to which the retiree and a guest will be invited to attend. In addition to the official campus recognition ceremony, departments at Kansas Athletics may choose to honor retirees with a department gathering and a “going away” gift. The retirement ceremony should be an opportunity for the retiring employee’s work colleagues to convey appreciation and good wishes. The gift should be a keepsake and may be personalized to the individual. The gift and its value should be appropriate for the retiring employee and his/her length of service with Kansas Athletics. Supervisors should not solicit their subordinates for a contribution for a retirement gift for another and may never solicit a retirement gift for themselves. Supervisors will coordinate with the Director of Human Resources for the ordering of the retirement gift.

Non-Reappointments and Terminations

1. Employees With Employment Agreements

For some employees, generally coaches, an employment agreement may be entered. Employment agreements will govern the term of employment, including termination.

2. Non-Reappointment/Termination Without Cause

Generally Kansas Athletics employees’ terms of employment are renewed annually and their employment shall run on a fiscal year basis (July 1 through June 30). Upon the recommendation of the supervisor and with the approval of the Athletics Director, benefits eligible individuals with at least twelve (12) continuous full-time months of employment will be automatically renewed for the period July 1 through June 30 unless a written notice of non-reappointment (termination without cause) has been delivered to the employee on or before March 31. For benefits eligible employees who begin employment after July 1, their automatic renewal appointment period will not begin until they have been employed for a full 12 month period; thus, their appointment period will not begin until the July 1st after they have been employed for a full 12 months.

A notice of non-reappointment should be given to the employee as early as possible but must be given at least three months in advance (by March 31) of the expiration date of the annual appointment (June 30). Non-reappointment letters should be in the best interests of Kansas Athletics and must be recommended by the supervisor and approved by the Athletics Director. The Director of Human Resources must be consulted prior to the decision and shall draft the letter of non-reappointment.

Individuals who have received letters of non-reappointment may be placed on paid administrative leave or may be reassigned to other duties and/or an alternate supervisor until the effective date of the non-reappointment. Such reassignments may lead to a change in Fair Labor Standard Act designation (i.e. exempt vs. non-exempt), a different title, and/or additional employment conditions but shall not result in any change of salary during the period.

Kansas Athletics reserves the right to adjust the time period of notice of non-reappointment during times of budgetary constraints, as defined by the Board of Directors or the Chancellor of the University, discontinuance of a program or department, elimination of a job, or a reduction in the workforce. In the event of one of these reasons for termination, the specific notice of non-reappointment time periods do not apply. It is expected, however, that whenever possible, individuals whose appointments are being terminated for these reasons will be provided reasonable notice (a minimum of no fewer than 2 weeks notice) regarding the termination of their appointment.

Exceptions to notice requirement:

Some employees have special employment conditions and thus this section will not apply to them.

  • Employees with employment agreements will be governed by the terms of their contracts.
  • Employees who are hired for a limited term of employment (typically internship positions), non-benefits eligible employees, or temporary positions also are not subject to this policy.
  • Assistant coaches (does not include Olympic Sports strength and conditioning coaches) are not covered by this section. Due to the seasonal requirements of different sports, assistant coaches are employed at will (employment can be ended at any time without cause) and may be given notice of termination at any time Any assistant coach who is terminated without cause will be given three months notice.

3. Termination With Cause

An employee may be immediately terminated for inadequate performance (i.e. unsatisfactory performance, habitual failure to report to work, significant or repetitive violation of NCAA, Big Twelve Conference, local/state/federal laws, or Kansas Athletics/University laws and policies), or misconduct or other appropriate cause.

Discharge of an employee for cause may result from an employee’s misconduct, documented incompetence, or failure to fulfill employment responsibilities and commitments.

Misconduct, the first incident of which may result in immediate dismissal, includes, but is not necessarily limited to the following:

  • Violation of NCAA, Kansas Athletics, Big Twelve Conference, or University guidelines.
  • Drunkenness, including drinking during working hours, or being under the influence of liquor or drugs during working hours, or bringing intoxicants or drugs to work.
  • Theft or dishonesty.
  • Insubordination.
  • Falsification of records, including time cards.
  • Use of obscene, foul or abusive language toward another person, including the failure to treat fellow employees with courtesy and respect.
  • Giving or taking a bribe of any nature as an inducement to obtaining work or retaining a position.
  • Threats of physical harm through violence to another person or threats to cause serious damage to public or private property.
  • Failure to cooperate in any NCAA, Kansas Athletics, Big Twelve Conference or University investigation.
  • Misuse of Kansas Athletics property, including but not limited to use of computers and/ or cell phones
  • Other serious misconduct as may be determined by the supervisor or the Athletics Director

Employees terminated for cause are not eligible for rehire.

4. Termination Due To Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation

Discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, status as a veteran, ancestry, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, harassment, or retaliation because an individual has engaged in a protected activity is considered serious misconduct and subjects an employee to termination for cause.

Grievance Procedure

Any employee has the right to grieve what the employee perceives to be an unfair practice without fear of reprisal, abuse or other form of discouragement by management. Such unfair practice may be registered by the employee informally as an oral complaint, or officially filed in writing as a grievance. The grievance should be as specific as possible and include the date(s) of the occurrence; a brief description of the unfair practice(s); individuals involved; a recommended resolution of the unfair practice; and employee’s signature. All grievances should be presented to the immediate supervisor within three (3) workdays of their occurrence. If the grievance is against the immediate supervisor, the employee may bypass the supervisor and present the grievance to the next higher level of supervision. In all cases a copy of a written grievance should be sent immediately to the Kansas Athletics Director of Human Resources.

The supervisor who receives the grievance should respond with a recommendation for resolution of the grievance within a reasonable period of time after receipt of the grievance. The employee may accept the supervisor’s proposed solution. The employee’s written acceptance of the supervisor’s solution should be sent to the Director of Human Resources. Should the employee not accept the supervisor’s proposed solution, he/she may appeal to the Director of Human Resources. The Director of Human Resources will conduct a thorough investigation of the grievance and make recommendations for resolution to the Athletics Director or his/her designee. The decision of the Athletics Director or his/her designee will be final and binding on all parties.

The following issues will not be covered or processed under the grievance procedure:

  • The selection and hiring of the workforce.
  • Dismissal, including the receipt of a letter of non-reappointment, suspension or demotion of an employee.
  • Layoffs, including releases due to a reduction in the work force or elimination of the job.
  • Management’s authority to assign work to employees in accordance with their position description.

Kansas Athletics is committed to working with an employee to achieve an early and amicable resolution to perceived inequities. If an employee has questions about the grievance procedure, he/she should contact the Director of Human Resources.

Progressive Discipline

Although Kansas Athletics strives to maintain a satisfactory relationship with all employees, both the employer and employee must honor that relationship. When a personal conduct or performance problem cannot be appropriately resolved, disciplinary action may be initiated. Depending on the severity of the conduct of the employee and the advice of the employee’s supervisor, Kansas Athletics reserves the right to terminate an employee for cause or may opt to implement remedial measures for the employee to correct the problems before they adversely affect Kansas Athletics’ operations or other employees, students or members of the public. Certain infractions or misconduct may justify omitting one or more steps, including moving to immediate termination. This policy explicitly recognizes, however, that some instances of misconduct or poor performance may properly result in a termination for cause without prior remedial measures.

1. The first step in the disciplinary process is counseling by the supervisor in order to correct the problem without resorting to more serious formal action. The counseling session should be reduced to writing and include:

  • A review of the duties the employee is expected to perform and/or his/her personal conduct on the job (attendance, cooperation, etc.).
  • An explanation of why the employee’s personal conduct or job performance is not acceptable.
  • An opportunity for the employee to explain or justify personal conduct or job performance.
  • A discussion of ways to correct personal conduct or job performance.
  • Development of a plan for improvement with a time frame (ordinarily thirty days) for further follow-up and review.

At the conclusion of the counseling session, or as soon as possible thereafter, the supervisor shall present a summary of the meeting to the employee for his/her signature. Signing the statement is an acknowledgement that the employee understands the areas for improvement and realizes that consequences may be warranted should improvement not be forthcoming. The employee may file responses for inclusion in his/her file. This written record shall be kept in the employee’s personnel file in the Human Resources office.

2. If counseling and a plan for improvement does not correct the problem within the time frame outlined in the counseling session, formal disciplinary action may be initiated by the supervisor in the form of a written reprimand, suspension (with or without pay), or dismissal. A supervisor has the authority to present a written reprimand to an employee at any time for cause. The written reprimand is presented to the employee and the employee is asked to sign and date it. The employee’s signature does not indicate agreement with the reprimand, only that he/she received a copy. A copy of the signed reprimand is sent to Human Resources for inclusion in the employee’s personnel file. The employee may file responses to the reprimand for inclusion in his/her file.

The supervisor must make a recommendation through supervisory levels to the Athletics Director to suspend or dismiss an employee. The justification and reasons for such action will be thoroughly reviewed in accordance with applicable policy, procedure and law before proceeding with more severe disciplinary actions.

Equal Opportunity

No person will be discriminated against in employment because of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, status as a military veteran, sexual orientation, ancestry, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or other unlawful reason. This policy applies to all terms, conditions, and privileges of employment and all policies of Kansas Athletics, including hiring, training, orientation, placement, employee development, promotion, transfer, compensation, benefits, educational assistance, layoff and recall, social and recreational programs, employee facilities, and termination.

It is the policy of Kansas Athletics to promote a productive work environment and to not tolerate verbal or physical conduct by any employee that harasses, disrupts, or interferes with another’s work performance or that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment.

Exit Interviews

Employees are required to meet with the Director of Human Resources to ensure that all administrative details concerning termination, resignations, retirements, or releases are completed. The Director of Human Resources takes the following actions:

  • Arranges for final payment of the employee;
  • Explains any conversion benefits under the group insurance plans;
  • Recovers or makes arrangements for repayment of any debts or obligations due the University or Kansas Athletics;
  • Obtains a correct forwarding address.

The employee will return on or before his/her final day of employment all Kansas Athletics and University property which could include keys, cell phone, telephone calling card, parking pass, car rental cards, credit cards, calling cards and/or Wheel Club automobile.

The employee will be responsible for the replacement of property not returned and will be billed for charges that occur on and after the last day of employment. All expense and related reports must be completed and submitted prior to the employee’s departure.

The employee’s final paycheck shall include all wages earned though the last day of employment, and accrued, unused leave in accordance to the vacation policy as stated in Policy 601 F: Leave.