Layoff Glossary

This information primarily applies to non-represented employees. Employers should consult the Collective Bargaining Agreements and Labor Relations for specific questions concerning represented employees.


A level of work; a position or group of positions performing similar duties so that the same title and salary range may be applied. Where there is a professional structure that includes job family and job level, the combination of the job family and the job level constitutes a class, and a change in job family, job level or both is a change in class. 

Class Series:

A group of job functions (classes) with similar purpose and knowledge requirements, but different levels of difficulty, responsibility, and qualifications. Where there is a professional structure that includes a job family and a job level, different job levels within one job family constitutes a class series. 


Comparability of positions is described in an employer's layoff procedure. Criteria defining comparability may include such factors as geographic location, number of hours per week, shift-time, type of specialty work, and other factors.


Measurable or observable knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors critical to success in a key job role or function.


An individual working in Washington State's classified service.

Employment Retention Rating:

A rating given to employees by the employer using seniority, as calculated in WAC 357-46-055 for general government employees and WAC 357-46-053 for higher education employees. 


A state agency, an institution of higher education, or a related higher education board.


A temporary layoff of an employee in accordance with WAC 357-46-063.

General Government Transition Pool (GGTP):

A list available to general government employees and Washington Management Service (WMS) who have been laid off or are at risk of layoff. Names on the GGTP can be referred for positions when the individuals meet broad-based knowledge and skill requirements.


An employer-initiated action, taken in accordance with WAC 357-46-010, that results in: - Separation from service with an employer; - Employment in a class with a lower salary range maximum; - Reduction in the work year; or, - Reduction in the number of work hours.

Layoff List:

A list of employees who have been laid off or are scheduled for layoff.

Layoff Unit:

A clearly identified structure in an organization within which layoff options are determined. Layoff units are defined in the employer’s layoff procedure or a Collective Bargaining Agreement. They are often based on either geographic area or organizational subdivision. Employers may create one, organization-wide layoff unit or a series of nested units.

Legitimate Business Requirements:

Civil Service Rules allow employers to preclude key positions as layoff options based on legitimate business requirements. Employers should carefully examine whether there are critical positions that are uniquely sensitive to disruption. These positions are often responsible for meeting critical deadlines, ensuring continuity of patient care, or completing research in progress.

Skills and Abilities:

Position-specific requirements, as referenced by various Collective Bargaining Agreements.

Temporary Layoff:

A temporary separation from service or a temporary reduction in an employee’s regular work schedule.

Transition Review Period:

An evaluation period following appointment to a position as a layoff option, from a layoff list, or from the General Government Transition Pool.

Veteran’s Preference:

An addition to an eligible veteran employee’s seniority date. Eligible veterans may have up to five years of active military service added to their unbroken service date.

Last updated
Monday, November 8, 2021
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