Ending Employment

Employees generally leave MIT voluntarily by resigning or retiring. Occasionally, employment is ended involuntarily, at MIT’s initiative, due to layoff or discharge.

For benefits purposes, MIT considers employees who leave MIT at or after age 55 with 10 years of benefits-eligible employment (after age 45) to be 'retirees' of MIT, whether they resigned voluntarily, were laid off, or if they otherwise left involuntarily – and whether or not they go to work for another employer.


Support staff should give 2 weeks’ notice, and administrative or SRS staff should give 4 weeks’ notice.  EPM Section 6.1


Human Resources’ Employee Benefits website contains advice and helpful links on retirement.  EPM Section 6.2


A layoff occurs when MIT terminates an individual's employment or reduces their hours or work effort because of reduced funding, changes in the nature and scope of the work, or for other operational reasons.  More detail on the definition of a layoff is found in the introduction to P&P Section 7.6 and in EPM Section 6.3

MIT’s layoff policy generally calls for a period of working notice, when the employee continues to do their work for a defined period of time:

  • For administrative, SRS, and support staff, the length of the period of working notice generally depends on length of service. P&P Section 7.6.4, EPM Section 6.3.4
  • For service staff, the notice rules are stated in their union contract
  • For Principal Research Scientists/Engineers/Associates, special notice requirements apply P&P Section 5.2.1
  • For Senior Research Scientists/Engineers/Associates, special notice requirements apply P&P Section 5.3.1
  • For Postdoctoral Associates/Senior Postdoctoral Associates, special notice requirements apply P&P Section 5.3.2

A “furlough” (which is temporary and is not a layoff) is defined at EPM Section 4.16.3


Termination Procedures


References to P&P are to Policies & Procedures; references to EPM are to the Employment Policy Manual