Guidance for Handling a Staff Death

Including retired staff on recall and staff on medical or other type of leave.

Reporting a death

  • A campus member may hear of a death through a variety of sources: friend, family, another student, the news, obituary, police (UC, city, state...) etc.
  • Campus member then contacts the staff member's department head/chair(or designee) orChancellor's Immediate Office. These two offices are responsible for notifying each other.
  • In case of an on-campus death or during non-business hours call UCPD first as an emergency call by calling 9-1-1 on campus. 
  • If the cause of death may be work-related, call Environment, Health & Safetyimmediately at 510-643-9575 for CAL-OSHA reporting and investigation.

Responding to a death

Review the below table to familiarize yourself with the response steps. The table is divided into three time segments -- the first 24 hours, 24-48 hours, and 48+ hours after the death has been reported -- to help you prioritize the response. 

The Staff Member's Department Chancellor's Immediate Office

...appoints a coordinator. When an employee works in more than one department, the appropriate VC may be contacted to appoint the coordinator.

The coordinator:

...determines the validity of the report and begins the death protocol.

...completes or delegates the following tasks.

...confirms with staff member's department the validity of the report and that a coordinator has been designated.

...will act as coordinator of death occurs on university property.

First 24 hours

The Staff Member's Department Chancellor's Immediate Office

Response to family and survivors in the campus community

1. Facilitate communication between family survivors and campus services such as Benefits.

2. Consult with Labor Relations/HR for release of information, and if press is involved consult with Public Affairs. Consult with Public Affairs on obituary.

3. Contact Employee Assistance for consultation in addressing the needs of staff, faculty, students and family affected.

Business response:

1. Submit the online death report.

24 to 48 hours

The Staff Member's Department Chancellor's Immediate Office

4. Initiate condolence communication to the family with the appropriate VC office. Identify campus representative in conjunction with the appropriate VC to attend on/off campus events.

5. Consider need for memorial events, collect info about on & off-campus events, coordinate with other departments, determine arrangements & ensure notifications/invitations for attendance. Consider how donations are being handled.

6. Review info on Benefits and Payroll in order to discuss with the family of the deceased.

3. Complete time sheet. Supply information to Payroll.

4. Chancellor's Office sends a condolence card to the family.

5. The Office of the President sends a condolence card.

6. Chancellor's Communications and Resource Center archives the death notification.

48+ hours

The Staff Member's Department Chancellor's Immediate Office

7. Review the following for applicability:

8. Inventory personal and professional possessions and arrange for retrieval. Use your own judgment as to the appropriate timing of this task.

4. Contact building manager concerning key deposit.