Reduction in Force FAQs
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Sam Wilkins, Director
South Carolina Office
of Human Resources
8301 Parklane Road
Suite A220
Columbia, SC 29223
Phone: (803) 896-5300


(State Agency fraud only)


Frequently Asked Questions by Employees Affected by a Reduction in Force

1. Is there any chance that the agency will be able to bring back my old
position and rehire me?
There is always a chance the position could be
reinstated, but it would only occur if the conditions under which you were
RIFed were eliminated. For instance, if you were RIFed due to a budget
reduction, the funds would have to be reinstated in some way for you to be
recalled to the position. What is the likelihood of this happening? Not very
great. It is best to plan on your position not being available and concentrate
on finding a new job.

2. Are any state agencies hiring? State agencies are always hiring but
in an austere funding environment, they concentrate on hiring only individuals
with critical skills. Consequently, your job search should include not only the
state government, but also other public and private organizations.

3. What services are offered to help place RIFed employees? The Office
of Human Resources (OHR) and the Employment Security Commission are two
primary agencies that will help you in your job search. OHR will provide assistance
in finding, applying, and interviewing for available positions. The Employment
Security Commission, through their local offices, also provides job search
assistance to include specifics on your Unemployment Insurance benefits.

4. Will it be more difficult for me to get a job because I have been RIFed?
Gone are the days when a layoff was an unfavorable mark on your employment
history. It is now accepted that people do get laid off and it is happening more
often as the U.S. economy slows. In fact, a typical American will work for ten
different companies, keep each job for about four years, and actually change
his or her career three times before retiring. Companies understand this
societal trend and will not hold the RIF against you.

5. What is the best way to seek employment in the private sector? It is
estimated that only a third of the available job openings will be advertised in
any given year. The other two-thirds constitute what has been called the
"hidden job market." To get into this hidden market, you need to practice a
technique called networking. Networking in its simplest form means talking to
everyone you know and meet about your job search.

6. How do unemployment benefits work? How long will I be eligible to
receive unemployment benefits? Where do I apply for unemployment benefits?

Your unemployment benefits depend on how steadily you worked during the past
year and how much you earned. There are maximum weekly benefits, and you
need to contact your local Employment Security Commission office for more
specific information about these benefits.

7. What about health insurance? You should talk with a counselor of the
Employee Insurance Program (EIP) in order to make the best long-range plans for
your health insurance. Contact EIP at 803-734-0678 or 1-888-260-9430.

8. What happens to my retirement? You should talk with a counselor of
the Retirement System in order to make the best long-range plans for your
retirement account. Contact Retirement Systems at 803-737-6800 or 1-800-868-9002.

9. What happens to my annual leave? When you leave state employment, you
will be paid for the leave you have accrued up to a maximum of 45 days. Your
agency's Human Resources office can provide you with more details about your

10. Other than the newspaper, where can I find out about job
Some other sources include: friends, relatives, private
employers, Employment Security Commission offices, Federal and local government
personnel offices, local libraries, private employment and temporary agencies,
community colleges and trade schools, community organizations, churches,
veteran's placement centers, unions, trade journals and associations, the
Internet, job fairs, radio, and television. We suggest you work with the State
Career Center and your local Employment Security Commission office to target
the sources that might be most productive for you.

11. What about the money I have invested in the Deferred Compensation
You should contact the Deferred Compensation Commission at
803-734-9700 or 1-866-826-7283 to make the best plans for this money. You
may also visit their website at

12. I need legal assistance. Can you tell me where I can go for free
The South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Program provides free legal help
for eligible clients and may be able to assist you. The number is

13. My skills aren't very current. Where can I go to get more training?
Your local Employment Security Commission office can provide you with
information about current training opportunities that may be available. Other
sources include any of the universities and colleges within South Carolina as
well as some of the adult education programs offered at some high schools. If you have thought about becoming a teacher, you may be eligibile for South Carolina's alternative certification program. For more information go to

14. How am I going to pay all my bills? The first thing you should do is
go to the nearest Employment Security Commission office and apply for
unemployment benefits. Give them a call before you go and ask what documents
you need to bring. The next thing you should do is to review your budget and
see where you stand financially. List your savings and other income, and
compare this to your anticipated monthly expenses. If you do not have enough
money to make ends meet, you will have to start cutting expenses, find additional
income or get your creditors to reduce your payments. If you want to have a
confidential chat with an expert about your financial obligations, call
1-800-388-2227. You will be connected to the National Foundation for
Credit Counseling where you will be given the address and phone for the Consumer
Credit Counseling Service in your area. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling web site is

15. How long will it take me to find a new job? There are many factors
that will affect how long it takes you to find a new job. The amount of
opportunity in your area, the amount of time you devote to finding a job, your
salary needs, and the number of job seekers are just a few of these factors. As
a rule of thumb, it takes a month of full-time job hunting for every $10,000
you want in salary. That means that if you want a $25,000 a year job, it will
probably take you two and a half months to find and win a new job.