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PG-63 Employee Furloughs

POLICY: PG-63
Subject: Employee Furloughs

Approval Date: 06/10/16
 

POLICY:

A furlough is the placement of an employee in a temporary leave without pay status for a specified number of hours or days within a specified time frame. A furlough is not a layoff or reduction in workforce and may be used to avoid or delay such action. The plan shall be implemented in a manner that ensures the continuation of essential services with minimum disruption to the institution, particularly with respect to the maintenance of class schedules, essential student services and campus safety.
 

PLAN DEVELOPMENT:

Furloughs will be implemented in a fair manner that is sensitive to the mission of the University. Upon announcement that furloughs are necessary, the President shall consult and discuss with Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Administration and Fiscal Services/Chief plan. The President may consult with other persons he/she deems appropriate. Consultation may, by necessity, require intense effort during limited periods of time for planning. In the event a furlough is deemed necessary by the President, the number of furlough days will be communicated to employees as soon as possible and every effort will be made to provide notification at least thirty (30) days in advance.
 

IMPLEMENTATION:

If, after consultation, the President reasonably believes the University is facing a significant operating budget deficit, or in the event a restricted Financial Officer and/or his/her designee in the development of a furlough 
program has received notice of reduced funding or closure, a furlough may be implemented. The President shall report the furlough to the Board. This policy supersedes all other University policies and may apply to all employees regardless of source of funds, place of work, or appointment terms or status, including faculty and exempt administrative staff. The plan shall not be subject to grievance or appeal at the University or Board level under this or any other University policy. 

Scheduling 
Scheduling of furlough days or portions of days shall be the responsibility of the President or the President’s designee(s), but in no event will the University close completely. Furloughs may be implemented on a differential, intermittent, or staggered basis based on pay/salary level, employee classification or nature of appointment. For example, furloughs may take into account the essential operating and safety needs of the University, the availability of designated federal funding, or income generated by the division, department, unit, or program. Days that the University is normally closed or days that may not normally be work days for certain groups of employees (i.e. Spring Break and winter break and holidays) may be designated as furlough days.  

Employees may not be furloughed for more than fifteen (15) working days in a fiscal year. 

Pay and Benefits During a Furlough Period 
Except as otherwise noted, all regular University employees (full or part time, hourly or exempt, including those subject to contract) may be subject to furlough. Student employees, graduate teaching assistants, and employees who are holders of H-1B visas, as defined by 20 CFR 655.731, are not subject to furlough. A furlough plan may exclude employees who perform functions essential to maintain health and safety on campus. Any such exclusion must be approved by the President. 

Employees may not use accrued paid leave during periods of furlough or in lieu of a furlough day or period. The University may allocate employees’ reduction in pay over the balance of the fiscal year for the payroll purposes regardless of the payroll period within which the furlough occurs. No overtime or compensatory time may be granted to compensate for the loss of services of furloughed employees. Employees cannot be required to work in their areas or perform official duties during a day/period of furlough. Non-exempt employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act cannot be at work on furlough days. 

An employee’s social security and retirement contributions shall be affected under a furlough, as contributions are based on actual earnings. All other benefits, including the accrual of vacation and sick leave, health and dental care, and life insurance benefits, shall continue, notwithstanding other guidance to the contrary. A furlough shall not affect an employee’s continuous service, length of service, review date, employment status, or eligibility for authorized holiday leave or pay.