Article VI — Job Security, Section F of the IAPE contract provides the following seniority protection against layoff:
In the event of dismissal to reduce the force, the Company agrees to follow the rule of seniority wherever possible and practicable. Seniority is defined as the length of continuous employment at Dow Jones. The rule of seniority, for the purpose of this Article VI, except as provided below, is that the Employee having the least seniority in the affected job classification in his or her department at his or her location shall be the first dismissed; except that, for lay-off purposes only, the job classifications of reporter, special writer and senior special writer shall be considered to be the same classification.
1. For the purpose of this subsection F of Article VI, part-timers and full-timers shall have seniority rights within their respective categories in the event of layoffs. The Company will determine the category of Employee, or any combinations thereof, that is to be laid off. The President and the Grievance Committee Chair of the Union shall have superseniority for layoff purposes as long as they are involved in the administration of this Agreement.
2. For the purpose of this subsection F, all employees having less than two (2) years of service shall be deemed to have the same seniority status, and among such employees, the Company shall follow the rule of seniority based on length of service only where all other relevant factors are equal.
3. For the purpose of this subsection F, any employee(s) having two years or more of service shall be deemed to have the same seniority status as any other employee(s) whose hire date is within one (1) year, and among such employees the Company shall follow the rule of seniority based on length of service only where all other relevant factors are equal, provided that all employees with less than two years of service will be laid off before any employees with more than two years of service unless it is not possible or practicable.
Separation documents provided by the Company at the time of any layoff should also describe severance benefits, which are explained in the IAPE contract as follows:
Article VI, C, 2 — Extended Medical Coverage/COBRA.
Employees laid off due to automation, outsourcing, job elimination, or reduction in force will be eligible for a Company-provided subsidy of their medical and dental coverage provided under COBRA, at the same premium cost as if they were still active employees, until they become eligible for medical coverage under another employer's plan or for such additional coverage period as defined below, whichever comes first. Probationary employees laid off within nine (9) months of hire shall receive full notice required by this Article and shall receive three (3) weeks of severance pay and COBRA premium subsidy until the end of the month after the month in which the layoff occurs. For employees past their probationary period, extended medical benefits shall be equal to one month of extended benefits per year of service, with a minimum of three (3) months and a maximum of twelve (12) months.
Article VI, H — Retraining Allowance and Outplacement Services.
1. If an Employee who has completed nine months of employment is terminated as part of a reduction in force, or due to automation or outsourcing, the Company will provide a retraining education allowance and/or outplacement assistance as provided below. To use a retraining education allowance, the Employee must apply for admission to the school within six (6) months from the date of termination and must have completed the courses for which he or she has enrolled within two (2) years from the date of enrollment. Payments for educational assistance will be paid directly to the educational institution selected by the Employee. If the Employee withdraws from the program, any refund for tuition, up to the amount of the allowance paid by Dow Jones, will be paid to the Company.
2. In cases of outsourcing or replacement by automation:
* 9-18 months — $3,000 retraining allowance + Level 1 outplacement
* 18 months-3 years — $6,000 retraining allowance + Level 1 outplacement
* 3-5 years — $9,000 retraining allowance + Level 2 outplacement
* 5+ years — $12,000 retraining allowance + Level 2 outplacement
3. In cases of reductions in force or job elimination:
* 9-18 months — Level 1 outplacement
* 18 months-3 years — Level 2 outplacement
* 3-5 years — $3,500 retraining allowance + Level 1 outplacement
* 5+ years — $5,000 retraining allowance + Level 2 outplacement
A. In the event of dismissal of a full-time or part-time Employee for refusal to relocate pursuant to Article V of this Agreement, or pursuant to a decision by the Company to reduce the size of its staff or eliminate a job function, the Company agrees that such Employee shall be paid a sum of money determined on the following basis:
1. If dismissed during the first nine (9) months of employment: no notice or payment other than wages due at the time of dismissal except as provided in Article VI, Section C.
2. If the period of employment is:
a) Nine months but less than eighteen months: six weeks' wages.
b) Eighteen months but less than three years: eight weeks' wages.
c) Three years but less than five years: ten weeks' wages.
d) Five years but less than twenty years: two weeks' wages for each full year of service, with a minimum of twelve weeks.
e) One and one-half weeks' additional wages for each six months of employment over twenty years up to a maximum in the aggregate, of fifty-two weeks' wages.
3. If the dismissal is a layoff due to outsourcing, the Employee will receive full severance pay as provided above, plus an additional four (4) weeks' wages.
The IAPE contract also describes other benefits such as the rehire list. Please consult the actual agreement for full details.
If you receive a layoff notice and you are eligible for extended medical coverage, it is important that you begin the process of applying for that coverage as soon as possible.
We realize that the elimination of any position causes uncertainty, and with good reason. If you receive a layoff notice, but have reason to believe that your layoff was delivered in error or that some section of the contract may have been violated as a result of your discharge, or if you just have questions about any aspect of your layoff from Dow Jones, please feel free to contact us at the IAPE office.