State Universities Civil Service System
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5.4 Initiation of Discharge Action

Manual: Employment and Separation Procedures

Subsection: Separation Procedures

  1. The employer begins preparation for actual discharge proceedings against an employee by drafting written charges and preparing the Written Charges for Discharge form.  (See Form 5.3b.)  The charges shall be set forth in separately numbered items.  The form shall contain the dates, names of persons, places, and acts necessary to properly allege cause for discharge.  If a breach of duty, statute, or rule of the employer is alleged, the statute, law, or rule shall be cited on the form.  The employer is advised to have legal counsel prepare the statement of written charges.  Once complete, the charges must be filed with the Merit Board, employee, employer and employer legal counsel.   The written charges must be accompanied by a statement certifying that all procedures set forth in the section 250.110(f)(1) of the Illinois Administrative Code (80 Ill. Adm. Code §250.110(f)) have been followed and that there has been full compliance with any options elected thereunder by the employee.
  2. Once the form has been completed, at least four original sets of the form, along with the employer's certification, shall be prepared.  The four sets are distributed as follows:

    Copy 1 is served on the employee in one of two ways:
    1. by personal service – indicate the exact hour and date of the service, and include the name of a witness to the service, if any, on the copy that is given to the employee.  This information shall be posted to all other copies before they are distributed; or
    2. by certified mail or overnight delivery – to the last known address of the employee.  Indicate the date and the place from which the form was mailed.  This information shall be posted to all original sets of the form before they are distributed.  Please ensure that the date on the Written Charges for Discharge Form under the “Proof of Service on Employee” section is the same date as the date of mailing.  In other words, the date on the USPS or other delivery system tracking form must be the same date as that on the discharge paperwork.  Please note that simply sending discharge paperwork through campus mail is not the same as submitting it directly to the USPS or by an overnight delivery service.

  3. Copy 2 is sent to the Secretary for the Merit Board. When certified mail or overnight delivery is the employer's chosen form of service to the employee, as outlined in (b)(1)(B) above, the employer will also send to the Secretary for the Merit Board a copy of the certified mail tracking form or a copy of the overnight delivery slip, including the actual tracking number.

    Copy 3 shall be retained by the employer.

    Copy 4 shall be sent to the employer's legal counsel.

  4. Date of Discharge Action

    The effective date of the discharge shall be on the 15th calendar day following the personal service or certified mail/overnight delivery date on the Written Charges for Discharge form, “Proof of Service on Employee” section, unless the employee makes a written request for a Hearing to the Merit Board within the 15 calendar day period. 

    If the employee requests a Hearing, and the Merit Board upholds the discharge, the effective date of discharge shall be the date of the Decision and Order by the Merit Board unless otherwise expressly stated in the final Decision and Order of the Merit Board.

  5. Other Implications

    During the 15-calendar day period following the date of service of Written Charges for Discharge, no action is taken by the employer or by the University System unless the employee:

    • tenders a resignation, or
    • makes or serves a written request to the Merit Board for a Hearing.

    If an employee resigns after having been served with Written Charges for Discharge, the University System Office shall be notified immediately.  A resignation must be accepted by the employer, which then causes all discharge proceedings to be terminated as of the date the resignation is submitted and accepted.

(Reference 80 Ill. Adm. Code §250.110(f))
Revised 8/20/2014