(a) Any SES member may be separated from the SES at the discretion of the department head upon 20 days' notice. A copy of the separation notice shall be provided to the Commissioner at the same time it is sent to the employee.
(b) In case of removal of an SES member with career status from State service, or return to a lower level than provided in (c) below, the procedures set forth in N.J.A.C. 4A:2-2 (major discipline) shall apply.
(c) An employee with underlying career status who is separated from the SES shall have the right to return to his or her highest held class code permanent title in the same organizational unit.
1. The employee must have held the permanent title within current continuous service.
2. For purposes of this section, an organizational unit means an appointing authority.
3. The appointing authority shall use the following procedures to effect the return of the employee to his or her career status:
i. Reassign the employee to a vacant position/title;
ii. Separate a provisional employee without underlying career status and reassign the returning employee to the position/title;
iii. Return an employee serving provisionally in the permanent title previously held by the returning employee to his or her permanent title and reassign the returning employee to the position/title vacated by the provisional employee;
iv. If the returning employee's last held permanent position/title no longer exists, or his or her last held permanent title is no longer appropriate as a result of the position's allocation to SES, the employee shall have lateral and demotional rights determined as if the title currently exists.
4. The appointing authority and the returning employee may agree to use the following optional procedures to effect the return of the permanent employee:
i. The employee may accept appointment to other titles at the same or lower class code, in the same or a different title series for which the employee is qualified in the same or another organizational unit.
ii. The status and compensation rights of the returning employee shall be determined in accordance with applicable rules.
iii. When the organizational unit offers the employee options under either (c)3 or 4 above, the employee may accept either option.
iv. If the organizational unit offers only the option under (c)3 above, the employee shall accept that option.
5. Layoff procedures shall be utilized when the organizational unit cannot effect the return of a permanent employee under (c)3 or 4 above. See N.J.A.C. 4A:8.
6. The employee shall have permanent status in the title immediately upon return to the career service, and shall have seniority as if it had continued to accrue in the permanent title held immediately prior to SES service.
7. Upon return to the career service, the salary shall be the same as if the employee had remained in the career service and had not been appointed to the SES, provided, however:
i. The salary shall in no event be greater than the salary earned in the SES; and
ii. If the minimum guaranteed in (c)7 above places the employee above the salary level of the title in which he or she is placed, the salary shall not change until such time as the salary range increases to include the guaranteed minimum salary.
iii. The department head may, at his or her discretion, recommend to the Commissioner placement of the employee at a higher salary than the minimum.
(d) If the position to which an SES member is appointed or vacated or abolished due to a reduction in force, and the SES member has career status, the SES member shall have lateral, demotional and special reemployment rights based upon the permanent title held immediately prior to SES appointment.
(e) Individuals without underlying career status who are separated from the SES may be:
1. Appointed to an unclassified title;
2. Appointed to a vacant career service title for which no eligible list exists; or