Reduction in Force Policy      

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Reduction in Force Policy
Revised April 27, 2007

General Policy Statement

ABX strives to provide ABX employees with secure and stable employment. Staffing levels are carefully set to meet, but not exceed, operational needs.  However, ABX is in a very competitive industry and must be able to adapt to changing business conditions.  When changes in economic, industry, or operating conditions require a reorganization or reduction in the workforce, Executive Management of the affected major department will work with Human Resources Management to identify the positions impacted and the employees affected.  Careful planning, kept in strict confidence, will be given to all aspects of any reduction in force before it is implemented. A reduction in force may affect the entire Company or just individual departments.

Underlying Principles

Before a reduction in force is implemented, management will consider all other feasible options available to address changing business needs before directing a reduction in force. This may include voluntary reductions, hours reductions, worksharing, or temporary leaves.  However, should a reduction in force be necessary, it will be accomplished through reassignments, layoffs, and/or terminations.  This policy will facilitate a reduction in force with the least disruption to the operation and customer service, and with the utmost consideration for employees.

This policy covers all nonunion, non-exempt and most exempt employees.  The Hourly Layoff Policy addresses how an hourly reduction in force would be handled and what exempt exceptions would be handled through the hourly policy.


Reduction in force (RIF)—a planned process for decreasing positions and staffing levels due to operational, economic or industry changes. Affected employees are terminated from the Company.

Layoff—an employee’s position is eliminated but may be reinstated in the near future (generally less than a year).  The employee is no longer working but may be recalled to their former position with full seniority reinstatement and former rate of pay.

Reassignment—if an employee’s position is eliminated due to a reduction in force, the employee may be placed in another position in the company that is not affected by the reduction.  The employee must meet the minimum qualifications of the reassigned position. 

Seniority—layoff decisions involving seniority will be determined by Company Seniority, which is the earlier of the employee’s part-time or full-time date of hire.

Employee Role & Responsibility

·        Understand that in order to remain competitive, ABX must respond quickly to economic, market, and operational changes. 

·        Recognize that ABX places a high priority on providing stable employment but cannot guarantee permanent employment to any employee.

·        Be considerate of employees who may be affected if a reduction occurs. 

·        Laid off employees are responsible for notifying Human Resources of their current address and telephone number for recall purposes. Employees are expected to report to work within fourteen days of receipt of their notice of recall.

·        Respect the confidentiality of employees involved in a reduction.  

Management Role & Responsibility

·        Manage staffing levels to meet operational needs but avoid overstaffing.

·        A reduction in force requires the involvement and authorization of executive management and Human Resources management.

·        Be prepared to communicate with employees the reasons for a reduction in force, and help them remain positive about the company.

·        Be familiar with this policy and be able to effectively implement the reduction in force process.  Management directly involved in a reduction will be provided additional guidance/training.

·        Maintain confidentiality of affected employees.

·        Develop a plan to cover the duties from eliminated positions that are still necessary to perform, and update job descriptions accordingly.  Reassign job duties and clearly communicate changes to employees.


Management will personally notify each employee who is affected by a reduction in force.  The employee will also receive written notice to include the following information: 

·         reason for reduction in force,

·         notice of the last day to be worked,

·         benefit coverage expiration,

·         reassignment status if applicable and,

·         recall eligibility if applicable.

 Selection Criteria

In most cases, reductions in force are determined within a department considering the positions, skills and knowledge needed to support the continuing business operations.  The company will generally be guided by the following criteria in determining which employees will be affected by a reduction in force or layoff.

 ·         Contract workers, interns, co-ops, temporary employees and casual employees who are not operationally essential should be terminated before any full or part time employees.

·         Employees with documented performance issues will be terminated first. For purposes of this policy, this would apply to employees whose employment record reflects a pattern of marginal or unsatisfactory performance, including multiple or repeated counselings, written disciplines, or performance appraisals with marginal/unsatisfactory ratings.  Conversely, this would not apply to employees with overall good employment records who may have received discipline for a one time event.

·         Nonexempt employees, and exempt professionals, supervisors and managers will be selected on the basis of:

1.     Knowledge, skills and experience  necessary for the continued operation of the organization and,

2.        Documented performance and overall employment record.

3.       Company seniority shall be a consideration; however, the selection criteria above will be the primary considerations, in determining those affected by a reduction in force.

·         Directors and Executives will be retained at the sole discretion of the President and the Board of Directors.


 A reasonable good-faith effort will be made to appropriately place internally productive, capable, experienced, well-performing, employees who have been selected for a reduction in force. If reassignment is feasible, management will consider the following factors in reassigning affected employees to other positions. Human Resources will coordinate the placement of all affected employees.

 ·         Department management may offer reassignment within the department to employees who might otherwise be reduced, to formerly held positions for which they remain qualified and willing to transfer.

·         If there are less senior employees in positions that are unaffected by a reduction, management may elect to replace those employees with employees whose positions are being eliminated.

·         Affected employees may be offered reassignment to vacant positions in or outside their department.  If reassignment is feasible, affected employees will be asked to indicate their preferences of available options prior to placement.

·         In all cases, employees must meet the minimum qualifications of the positions to which they are reassigned and be able to work the available shifts/days off. Additionally, company seniority, in particular for nonexempt employees, will be part of the consideration in reassignment of affected employees.

 Layoff/Recall and Termination

A reduction in force may be a temporary or permanent reduction.  If staffing needs are expected to change within a year or less, the reduction may only be needed for the short term.  In that case, a layoff with recall rights may be offered as an option to affected employees, considering their performance and overall employment record.  Employees offered reassignments or layoff will be offered recall to the similar pay and position they previously held, to the extent such positions become available regardless of shifts/days off.   Recall offers will be extended in reverse company seniority order that reassignment/layoff occurred.  Employees retain recall rights for a period of seven years from the date of layoff.

 Recall notification will be mailed to the employee’s last known address by certified mail.  Recall rights end and employment will be considered voluntarily terminated upon declining recall or after reasonable efforts to contact the laid off employee have been unsuccessful.

 Company seniority, as well as job classification seniority, will continue to accrue during a layoff for a period of seven years from date of layoff. 

For pension and benefits, plan documents determine break in service rules.

On the other hand, should the reduction be deemed a long-term or permanent event, no layoff will be offered and a termination will occur.  If a waiver of claims is signed, a severance agreement may be offered. Additional assistance in preparing for job searches may be offered to affected employees.

Appeal Process

Employees who are selected for a reduction in force may appeal the decision to an Appeals Committee for re-consideration.  The Corporate Director of Labor Relations and Organizational Development will chair this committee.  For nonexempt employees, members will include one executive (from outside of the dept of the employee filing the appeal), one member of management and two hourly or nonexempt employees.  For exempt employees, members will include one executive (from outside of the dept of the employee filing the appeal), and three members of management. The President will appoint the Appeals Committee at the time of the reduction in force. 

All appeals must be filed within three working days of the notification.  The Appeals Committee will strive to render a decision within two working days of receipt of the appeal.  The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be considered final.


Copyright © 2005.  ABX Air, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Revisions posted: Feb. 20, 2008

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