A furlough is a temporary and unpaid leave from work enacted as a cost savings measure for the University to respond to sudden emergencies, which requires a significant curtailment of the organization’s activities or because of a lack of work. Rather than permanently separating employees from the organization for something that may be temporary in nature, furloughs place employees in a temporary, non-duty and non-paid status, for a specified period of time. Employees are prohibited from performing any work during the furlough period.
Your department is facing a budgetary deficit. The University has taken several measures to address the deficits across the University, including a hiring freeze, reduced procurement activities, and other efforts to reduce costs and expenses. A furlough is an additional budget savings option.
Any A&P or USPS employee may be subject to a furlough, except employees on certain specialty occupation Visas (e.g., H-1B and E3).
A furlough may be a full unpaid leave with no work hours for a specific period of time or may be partial with reduced predetermined work hours for a specific period of time. Colleges and departments are required to submit a furlough justification plan outlining the reasons for the furlough plan, employees affected, and pertinent information, including the furlough period and whether it will be a full unpaid leave or a partial reduced schedule.
No. Employees will not be paid during the furlough period. The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) requires employers to pay covered non-exempt (hourly) employees for all hours worked during a 40-hour workweek. Therefore, during the furlough, non-exempt employees cannot be required (or allowed) to perform any work duties. Supervisors will be held responsible for ensuring that the employee understands the requirement of adhering to the “no work” rule.
No. Employees may not use accrued paid leave during a furlough. Employees cannot use accrued sick, annual, compensatory leave, or personal holiday (USPS). Therefore, all supervisors will be instructed that during a mandatory furlough, all paid leave is prohibited, even if previously approved.
No. If an employee is furloughed during a workweek that contains a scheduled holiday, they will not receive pay for that holiday because they would be in unpaid leave status. An employee must be in pay status at least a portion of their last scheduled day before a holiday in order to be paid for the holiday.
No, employees cannot work (including checking e-mail for work-related items or taking work phone calls) during a designated furlough period. Employees should place an out-of-office message for e-mail and voicemail to provide information about colleagues who may be able to assist during their absence. For example: “Thank you for contacting me. I am out of the office until INSERT DATE and unable to access e-mail/voicemail until I return. If you need assistance, please contact XXXX. Thank you.” Further, employees cannot volunteer to perform work for duties that they would normally be paid.
No, employees are not permitted to work overtime to make up for unpaid furlough time. Employees will be required to maintain their reduced schedule.
Furlough days will be recorded on the OMNI Timesheet and in TimeClock Plus, if applicable, using the time reporting code Furlough Leave Taken – FLTHT.
To ensure compliance with pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act, exempt employees’ furlough period must be in seven-day increments aligned with the FSU workweek. It is important that employees who are exempt from overtime do not work more than 40 hours in a work week that includes any furlough hour(s). Supervisors will be held responsible for ensuring that their A&P or USPS exempt staff understand and adhere to a 40-hour work week.
If an employee is interested in volunteering for a furlough, they must discuss their request with their supervisor and department head. Despite volunteering for a furlough, the department will need to review and receive approval for the request. Furloughs are determined based on business needs and the University’s obligation to maintain essential services.
While on furlough, an individual remains an employee of Florida State University. Furloughed employees are expected to be ready and available to return to work after the furlough period or within two weeks of being called back from furlough. Employees are permitted to accept employment outside the University as long as they comply with the University’s Outside Employment Policy, which requires approval in advance.
Due to furlough status, an employee may qualify for unemployment benefits. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) determines reemployment assistance eligibility. Contact the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for information on eligibility and applying for unemployment benefits by filing a claim at http://floridajobs.org. The furlough notification letter can be submitted with the claim as evidence of current employment status.
No. Workers’ Compensation benefits are provided to employees that sustain a work-related injury or illness while performing their job duties. While on furlough, employees are not permitted to work or perform any work-related activities. Therefore, employees are not eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits while on furlough days.
Employees will be notified via a Furlough Notification Letter at least fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the furlough period. Furloughed employees will be expected to work closely with their supervisor to make certain that all tasks and functions are transitioned appropriately prior to the furlough.
- Eligibility to State of Florida Healthcare and state-paid life insurance benefits will not be impacted by a furlough.
- Employees are responsible for arranging for payment of employee contribution of health and life insurance premiums when the earnings of the paycheck can no longer support deductions. Benefit premiums are listed on the paycheck stub.
- There will be no change in the payment responsibility for insurance as it relates to the percentage paid by the employee and the employer.
- Retirement contributions by both employees and the University will be affected by a furlough as contributions are based on actual earnings.
- Employees’ continuous service and employment status will not be affected by any period of furlough.
- Employees annual and sick leave accruals will not be impacted by furlough days.
Employees are responsible for arranging for payment of the employee contribution of health and life insurance premiums when the earnings of the paycheck can no longer support deductions. Your benefit premiums are listed on your paycheck stub. The total for any employee paid premiums can be mailed to People First at:
People First Service Center
P. O. Box 863477
Orlando, FL 32886-3477
If you are placed on a continuous furlough, the University will provide employees no less than two weeks’ notice of an employee’s return to active status date.
Employees should ensure that their contact information is current. Please review and update your preferred phone number, email and mailing address in OMNI Employee Self-Service.
Yes. The University encourages employees and/or members of employees’ family to make use of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) during this transition period. Employees can contact EAP at 850-644-2288 (FSU Main Campus) or 941-917-2660 (Sarasota Campus).
If you find alternate employment while on furlough and do not intend to continue employment at FSU, please notify your department immediately of your voluntary separation by submitting your resignation in writing. Employees should provide a two-week notice, if possible.
Employees with questions regarding their furlough status may contact Tracey Pearson, Director of Employee & Labor Relations, at 850-644-3694 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Benefits and retirement questions can be directed to the HR Benefits Office at 850-644-4015, or via email to Insurance@fsu.edu or Retirement@fsu.edu.