Mandatory Furloughs

The following are frequently asked questions regarding mandatory furloughs for state employees in FY 2020-21. This page will be updated as warranted. Please refer to the Furlough Executive Order signed by Gov. Polis on September 23, 2020.

Updated October 22, 2020

Q: What is a mandatory furlough?

A: An unpaid day(s) off of work without pay as ordered by the Governor.

Q: What is the purpose of mandatory furlough?

A: The nation is in the midst of the worst economic downturn since 2008. Although Colorado is better off economically than most states, it is not immune from budgetary shortfalls. The slowing economy and pandemic has resulted in increased unemployment and declining consumer spending, which, in turn, have adversely impacted State revenues.

To meet the personal services reduction targets established in the Long Bill, without disruption to government services, a small part of the required reduction will be met through furloughs. Such furlough action serves to minimize hiring freezes, lay-offs, and long-term vacancies, all of which carry negative impacts for government service delivery. We are relieved that last week's forecast indicates that, for now, additional reductions for the current fiscal year will not be required, but note that the speed and severity of this economic crisis has been severe. While the September forecast is modestly improved from the June forecast, the precipitous drop-off in revenue during the end of the last fiscal year depleted our almost $1 billion in reserves in just a few months and left the General Fund in the red on a cash basis.

Q: Who makes the decision to order mandatory furloughs?

A: The Governor makes the decision to order mandatory furloughs. Under the Colorado Constitution, the Governor is vested with the executive power of the state, and this includes close supervision of the funds appropriated by the General Assembly. In the exercise of that responsibility, he has the authority to order mandatory furloughs in the event of a revenue shortfall like the one the State is currently experiencing. This authority was confirmed by the Attorney General in a formal opinion issued on July 16, 2009. See Attorney General Opinion 09-05. In addition, under C.R.S. § 24-2-102(4), the Governor may exercise his discretion by executive order to suspend or discontinue functions or services of state government in the event of insufficient revenues. The Governor may take actions necessary to reduce expenditures through mandatory furloughs.

Q: When are the furlough days scheduled?

A: We know that we cannot continue to ask employees to do more with less. As a result, many State offices will be closed on Friday, November 27, 2020 (the day after Thanksgiving). There may be a business need that requires employees to work on the mandatory furlough days. In that event, employees are required to take an alternative furlough day on another day as approved by the department.

The remaining furlough days will be distributed throughout the rest of the fiscal year as directed by each agency. Generally, agencies will be flexible when the additional furlough days will be taken but this may be restricted based on business needs.

When furlough days are to be scheduled individually, seniority and operational needs shall be determining factors when more than one employee selects the same day for furlough within each facility or division. Seniority is defined by Board Rule 7-10 as the calendar year in which total State service began, plus up to 10 additional years (rounded to the next whole year for partial years) of military service for those eligible for veteran's preference.

Q: How was the furlough day selected?

A: The day after Thanksgiving was selected with the goal of minimizing the impact to employees. Specifically, this included providing employees with enough notice before the first furlough day, and adjoining the day to an existing state holiday.

Q: Who is covered by a mandatory furlough?

A: All employees in the Executive branch (except the Departments of Education, Law, State and Treasury) are covered under the mandatory furlough requirement. The Executive Order also identifies specific furlough exemptions.

Q: Who will be exempt from mandatory furloughs?

A: There are state employees in departments that are subject to the Executive Order who will be exempt from the mandatory furlough requirement. In crafting the exemptions, the Governor's Office endeavored to balance fairness and equity with the need to ensure that essential round-the-clock services, public safety, and services in high-demand because of the economic downturn are not disrupted. A description of the positions that are exempt from mandatory furloughs as set forth in the Directives section of the Executive Order are as follows:

  1. Department of Corrections: to ensure the safe and continuous operation of state correctional facilities, designated employees that have direct responsibility for inmate and staff safety, correctional support trade supervisors, correctional officers, and clinical services direct care employees.
  2. Department of Health Care Policy and Financing: to assist Medicare enrollees and members, designated call center agents and related member call center support professionals.
  3. Department of Human Services: to ensure the safety of people in the custody or care of the Department of Human Services, designated employees that have direct responsibility for patient and staff safety, diagnostic procedures technology employees, laboratory technology employees and pharmacists in the Mental Health Institutes, food service managers and psychologists at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, and safety securities officers at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan.
  4. Department of Labor and Employment: to support Coloradans looking for employment and unemployment benefits, designated employees who provide direct employment services at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Colorado Workforce Centers, employees who administer unemployment insurance benefits, and employees who provide direct employment services to veterans.
  5. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs: designated air traffic controllers necessary to ensure continuous and safe operation of the Buckley Air Force Base and the Air Sovereignty Alert Mission of the 140th Wing, Air National Guard patrol officers who are necessary to provide security for the Greely Air National Guard Station, and transportation maintenance employees to ensure runway clearance and safety on the Colorado Air National Guard's portion of Buckley Air Force base.
  6. Department of Public Health and Environment: designated employees who are critical to the COVID-19 response and work in the State Laboratory, employees dedicated to prevent outbreaks in health facilities, employees who are responsible for administering Women, Infants and Children programs, employees who administer child and adult care food programs, and employees responsible for the newborn screening program at the State Laboratory.
  7. Department of Public Safety: to ensure the welfare and safety of Coloradans, designated Colorado State Patrol troopers, corporals, sergeants; communication officers and supervisors; Executive Security Unit security officers; and Port of Entry officers and first line supervisors.
  8. Department of Transportation: to preserve the safety and continuity of operations of Colorado's roads through functions including response to weather events such as snow and ice, vehicle crashes, and emergency road repairs, designated transportation maintenance employees.

Q: Are employees in the Departments of Education, Law, State, and Treasury included in the mandatory furloughs ordered by the Governor?

A: The departments of Education, Law, State, and Treasury are exempted from the furloughs required by the Executive Order. Any decisions regarding the need for mandatory furloughs of both classified and non-classified employees based on budget needs will be communicated by those departments directly.

Q: Are employees in institutions of higher education included in the mandatory furloughs ordered by the Governor?

The State's institutions of higher education with their governing boards and Presidents may furlough non-classified employees without permission of the Governor. With respect to classified employees, the Executive Order provides institutions of higher education the discretion to order mandatory furloughs if needed to manage their budgets accordingly. Institutions of higher education are encouraged to reach out to COWINS to discuss any furloughs that would impact covered classified employees.

Q: Are employees in the Judicial Branch or Legislative Branch included in the mandatory furloughs ordered by the Governor?

A: The furloughs ordered by the Governor do not apply to employees of the Judicial or Legislative Branches because the State constitution vests the authority to manage these budgets with the legislature and the Supreme Court respectively.

Q: The State Personnel System created by law is supposed to ensure that all classified employees are treated the same. So, why are some classified employees in certain departments exempt from the mandatory furloughs?

A: The Colorado Constitution requires that classified employees "hold their respective positions during efficient service or until reaching retirement age, as provided by law. They shall be graded and compensated according to standards of efficient service which shall be the same for all persons having like duties." Colo. Const. art. XII, § 13(8). This provision requires equal pay for equal work, but does not restrict the Governor's authority or ability to exempt departments or positions from a mandatory furlough.

While the Colorado Constitution requires equal pay for equal work, it does not require that every position within a classification or an executive department be treated identically. Employees who are furloughed receive less pay, but they also work fewer hours, keeping with the equal pay for equal work requirement. This issue is more thoroughly addressed on pages 5 and 6 of Attorney General Opinion 05-09 issued on July 16, 2009.

Q: Which employees are impacted by the furlough?

A: In arriving at the number of furlough days, the impact on employees was considered, particularly lower wage earners, as well as the goal of 10% of Fiscal Year 2020-21 cuts from furloughs. The chart below shows the progressive furlough days based on base salary. An employee's base salary (annual equivalent for part-time) as of July 1, 2020, is used to determine the number of furlough days required by the end of the fiscal year.

Lower Salary Band

Upper Salary Band

Number of Days

% of Overall Salary

$0

$50,000

0

0.0%

$50,000.01

$70,000

1

0.4%

$70,000.01

$90,000

2

0.8%

$90,000.01

$140,000

3

1.2%

$140,000.01

+

4

1.5%

As approximately 75% of the state's workforce will take one furlough day, most state offices should be closed on the day after Thanksgiving. Agencies will have the discretion to have employees work on this day based on business need, but the employee will need to take an alternative furlough day in the quarter that the holiday occurs. The remaining furlough days can be taken at the discretion of the employee, subject to the department's direction and subsequent approval, but must be taken before the end of the fiscal year. 

Q: Why are employees required to take a designated furlough day and allowed to choose the remaining furlough days?

A: There are a variety of reasons that the State opted to designate a mandatory furlough day and permit employees to select the remaining days accordingly. One, state services will be impacted because over 75% of employees are required to take one furlough day. Two, by designating a day on a statewide basis, citizens will know and can predict what day State services will or will not be available. Three, employees with salaries below $50,000.01 must report to work on the scheduled furlough day which will require a manager or supervisor to report as well if their salary is above the furlough threshold.

Q: Why are some employees in the same classification required to take a different number of furlough days?

A: The furlough plan is a tiered approach based on an employee's salary as established within the pay range for their job classification. Employees in the same classification and corresponding pay range may have different salaries based on a number of factors, including years of service, experience, and across-the-board merit increases.

Q: Is it legal to implement a different number of furlough days based on an employee's salary?

A: Yes. We confirmed the legality of the tiered approach through our assistant Attorney General.

Q: Will some employees be required to take their mandatory furlough days on days other than the designated furlough day?

A: Some offices cannot be entirely shut down on a designated mandatory furlough day without imposing a substantial hardship on or adversely impacting the health or safety of the citizens of the State, or because doing so would substantially impair the ability of the office to meet its legal obligations. Because of these limitations, the Governor granted each Executive Director the flexibility to determine whether it is necessary and in the best interest of the State to permit certain employees subject to mandatory furlough to take their furlough day on a day other than the one designated above. Although this exemption will be sparingly invoked, such flexibility is necessary to ensure that the State continues to meet its obligations during the furloughs. Those employees occupying positions that cannot be furloughed on the designated furlough day will take their furlough day on an alternative date determined by their agency.

Q: How is one day of furlough pay calculated?

A: The furlough days will be treated as a deduction from employees' pay based on a percentage of the annualized hourly rate at the time the furlough day is taken. For example, if a full-time employee's salary is $6,000 per month, one furlough day will deduct approximately $276.96 from that month's salary (6,000 * 12 = 72,000 /2080 = 34.62 * 8 = $276.96). The annualized hourly rate does not include any temporary pay differentials, shift differentials, hazard pay or other premium pay. 

Q: How do employees request the scheduled and floating furlough days for time and leave tracking purposes?

A: Each department will provide direction and guidance to their employees on how to request the scheduled and floating furlough days.

Q: When will paychecks reflect the furlough day taken?

A: For monthly paid employees, the scheduled furlough the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 27, 2020, will be reflected in your November 30, 2020 paycheck for the November pay period.

For the floating furlough days, the day(s) should be reflected in the paycheck for the month in which the furlough day was taken; however, if the floating furlough day occurs after the deadline for payroll processing, it will be reflected in the paycheck for the following month.

For biweekly paid employees, the furlough day will be reflected in your paycheck for the pay period in which furlough day occurs. For example, the scheduled furlough day, the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 27, 2020 will be reflected in your December 18, 2020 paycheck for the November 21, 2020 through December 4, 2020 pay period.

Q: Why is a position paid with federal funds or cash funds required to furlough?

A: Furloughing state employees is far from an ideal situation. In formulating the furlough plan, position funding was among the competing factors considered. As noted above, however, a great deal of weight was given to fairness and the need to treat similarly situated employees, regardless of funding source, the same. Taking all concerns into consideration led to the decision to standardize furloughs to the greatest extent possible, which led to the inclusion of federally-funded and cash-funded employees in the State's furlough plan.

Q: Does the furlough apply to non-classified employees?

A: The furlough applies to both classified and non-classified employees in those departments subject to the furlough.

Q: How will the furlough days apply to part-time employees?

A: Part-time employees would adjust their base salary to full-time equivalent to determine the number of furlough days they would take. The furlough day will be prorated based on the percentage of time the part-time employee is scheduled to work, just like other types of leave. For example, if an employee typically works 50% time in a week, then the employee's furlough days would be based upon the 20 hours worked of their normal schedule. If the employee has one furlough day per month, they would take four hours.

Q: What if an employee is on a flexible schedule and works four 10-hour days? How will a furlough day be applied?

A: Flexible schedules can still apply. All employees, including those on flexible schedules, should have no more than 8 hours deducted for a single furlough day. For example, an employee can work three 10-hour days as normal and request annual leave for the remaining two hours for that furlough workweek. Another common schedule is the "5x4" where employees work four days every other week. If the furlough day is scheduled to occur the day the employee would be off, the employee needs to work with their appointing authority and department HR office to make alternate arrangements.

Although FLSA exempt employees are not bound by 40-hour workweeks during non-furloughed weeks, they should not be expected to work additional hours to make up for furlough time or more hours than they would normally work if it were not for the mandatory furloughs.

Q: Will the furloughs extend an employee's probationary or trial service period?

A: An employee's probationary period or trial service period is not extended due to the furlough because there is no opportunity to work during a furlough day or alternate furlough day.

Q: Are new hires subject to the furlough?

A: It depends on when the employee begins to work for the State. If the employee is employed prior to or on the day of the scheduled furlough day they are required to take the furlough day. If the employee begins working for the State after the furlough day, the employee is required to take floating furlough days as outlined in the chart below.

Annual Pay Rate

Employed on November 27, 2020 (Day After Thanksgiving)

Employed on or After January 1, 2021 (Floating Days)

Employed on or After April 1, 2021 (Floating Days)

Employed on or After June 1, 2021 (Floating Days)

$0 - $50,000

0

0

0

0

$50,000.01 - $70,000

1

0

0

0

$70,000.01 - $90,000

2

1

0

0

$90,000.01 - $140,000

3

2

1

0

$140,000.01+

4

3

2

1

Q: Can non-exempt employees work overtime in a mandatory furlough week?

A: No, employees cannot work more than 32 hours in the workweek. 

 

Q: Is it okay for employees to work on a furlough day and simply forgo pay?

A: Employees are not permitted to work on a furlough day. If an employee works on a furlough day, they will be required to take the time worked as a furlough on an alternative day.

Q. Can an appointing authority require employees to work on other days to make up the missed hours attributed to a furlough?

A: Furloughed employees, including those that are FLSA-exempt (also known as salaried employees), are not expected to work extra hours in non-furlough weeks to make up for the work time lost due to a furlough. However, if an employee is required to work due to business needs (e.g., scheduled conference or training or is called in by the appointing authority for an emergency situation), an alternate furlough day must be designated by the employee's Executive Director, preferably within the same pay period or same work week. Although FLSA exempt employees are not bound by 40-hour workweeks during non-furloughed weeks, they should not be expected to work additional hours to make up for furlough time or more hours than they would normally work if it were not for the mandatory furloughs.

Q: Can a supervisor require me to make up the work time lost by a furlough day?

A: No. It is anticipated that services may diminish during the week of the furlough. However, furloughed employees, including those that are FLSA-exempt (also known as salaried employees), are not expected to work extra hours in non-furlough weeks to make up for the work time lost due to a furlough. Supervisors are expected to use sound business judgment and respect and promote employee work-life effectiveness. In addition, nonexempt employees who are required to work additional hours during non-furlough weeks would likely increase overtime costs and negate any cost savings to the State realized from the furlough. Although FLSA exempt employees are not bound by 40-hour workweeks during non-furloughed weeks, they should not be expected to work additional hours to make up for furlough time or more hours than they would normally work if it were not for the mandatory furloughs.

Q: Will the service date, used for continuous state service and to calculate leave, be affected?

A: No, there is no impact - service dates are not adjusted during furloughs.

Q: Will health, life, dental insurance be affected?

A: No, there is no impact to insurance benefits from a furlough. The State continues to pay the employer's share of insurance premiums during a furlough, just as the employee's share will continue to be deducted as normal.

Q: Will Short-term Disability (STD benefits) or Workers Compensation Benefits be impacted by the furlough days?

A: These benefits are based on salary. Because a mandatory furlough is not a permanent reduction in salary, there is no change in these benefits. However, accrued paid leave to supplement and/or to make whole may not be applied on mandatory furlough days.

Q: What happens to annual and sick leave accrual during furloughs? Is it prorated for the day of unpaid leave?

A: As furloughs are mandated and there is no opportunity to work, employees continue to earn sick leave, annual leave and holidays while on mandatory furlough as though the furlough had not occurred.

Q: Will a furlough decrease my leave payout if the employee leaves employment with the State?

A: Leave payouts are not decreased because of a furlough day.

Q: How do furloughs affect retirement benefits?

A: In the month of a furlough day, the State and employee total dollar contribution towards retirement benefits will decrease commensurate with the temporary reduction in pay due to the furlough. Currently, state law does not allow for make-up contributions (outside of furlough days from July 1, 2002 to June 30, 2004). However, within 30 days, the State and Colorado WINS will engage the Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA) in an effort to mitigate adverse effects of furloughs on retirement benefits.

For questions about Highest Average Salary (HAS) calculations, purchase of service credit, and other retirement issues, contact PERA customer service at 303-832-9550 (1-800-759-7372 toll free) or visit the PERA website at: www.copera.org/ or email Customer Service for general questions.

Q: Since the scheduled mandatory furlough day is after a holiday, will employees still receive holiday pay?

A: Yes. Permanent employees only need to be employed by the state when the holiday is observed to receive holiday pay.

Q: Can employees take the floating furlough days prior to the scheduled furlough day?

A: As permitted by their agency, employees may begin taking the floating furlough days starting on October 1, 2020.

Q: Can employees take three floating furlough days in a block of time?

A: Agencies have the discretion to determine the timing of the floating furlough days outside of the scheduled furlough day as long as they occur by June 30, 2021. Under no circumstances should more than two floating furlough days be scheduled in a single workweek. Please reach out to your supervisor and/or HR representative for more information.

Agencies need to keep in mind that employees who are paid monthly, funded with General Funds, and take furloughs in June will have the impact of those furloughs shifted into FY 2021-22 due to the pay date shift.  Agencies trying to capture savings associated with the furloughs in FY 2020-21 to meet reduction targets should take note of this and manage employee furloughs to be taken by June 1, 2021 to avoid having the savings shifted into the next fiscal year.  For questions, please contact your department’s Controller or Budget Director.

Q: What happens if an employee experiences a qualifying event under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) during a furlough or is on FMLA or FFCRA-related leave, when the furlough occurs?

A: For employees who are currently on injury leave or FMLA, the leave is not impacted. The only change is that the mandatory furlough days and floating furlough days will be taken when the employee returns to work before May 1, 2021. If an employee is using annual or sick leave for FMLA, the day of furlough will be unpaid. If the employee was on unpaid FMLA there is no change, as unpaid days may count as a furlough day(s) and recorded as such. The furlough day runs concurrent with FMLA.

For employees who are using FFCRA-related leave (emergency paid sick leave or emergency public health leave), the paid leave cannot be used on the furlough day.

Q: How are furlough days applied if an employee is out on paid or unpaid military leave?

A: For paid military leave, an employee will be required to take the allotted furlough days upon the employee's return to work. For unpaid military leave, a furlough day(s) may be accounted for if coded as such.

Q: What happens if an employee is summoned to appear for jury duty on a scheduled furlough day?

A: Employees summoned to appear for jury duty must appear for jury service as required and would record their time as jury duty per statute. They would then need to work with their supervisors to take an alternate furlough day.

Q: Can an employee who is exempted from the mandatory furlough take paid leave on a scheduled furlough day?

A: Managers of furlough-exempt employees will be permitted to grant annual leave and sick leave to furlough exempt employees on designated furlough days; this leave, however, must be managed to support the business needs of the agency. In addition, before deciding to grant the leave, departments should consider the impact on employee morale and the effects on the workplace, especially for those employees who are subject to the furloughs as well as those required to work.

Annual Leave: Many of the furlough-exempt employees are in positions where annual leave must be planned long in advance in order to effectively manage the overall workforce and staffing levels throughout the fiscal year. Although departments will be permitted to manage and authorize annual leave for furlough-exempt employees without regard to the furlough, departments may choose to limit, prohibit, or refuse to authorize paid annual leave for furlough exempt employees on the designated furlough day.

Sick Leave: It is critical that employees who are sick, particularly those employees with contagious illnesses, not come to work and expose their fellow employees. In order to avoid creating an incentive for furlough-exempt employees to come to work while sick or contagious on furlough days, furlough-exempt employees will be permitted to take paid sick leave on the designated furlough day. In order to guard against potential abuse, however, departments may impose additional requirements for approving paid sick leave on the designated furlough day, including but not limited to requiring verification of illness from an employee's physician as permitted under State Personnel Director's rule. Departments may adopt policies that include sanctions for furlough-exempt employees who abuse sick leave on the designated furlough day.

Other paid leave: Departments may not grant administrative leave to any furlough-exempt employees on the designated furlough day, nor may a furlough-exempt employee use donated leave under a department's leave sharing program on a designated furlough day. Other forms of paid leave, including but not limited to bereavement leave, jury duty leave, and military leave, should be provided for furlough-exempt employees without regard to the designated furlough day.

Q: Can an employee who is exempted from the furlough choose to take leave without pay on a furlough day?

A: Executive directors will have the discretion to grant leave without pay to furlough-exempt employees who would normally be scheduled to work on a designated furlough day or who have requested paid leave on a furlough day. If you are a state personnel system employee and exempt from the furlough, you must either be approved for unpaid leave or be at work the day of the furlough. If your office is partially or completely closed and there are not enough tasks to occupy the furlough day, unpaid leave may be granted by the Executive Director for the time you are not working.

Q: Is the pay of a FLSA-exempt employee (not eligible for overtime) subject to reduction?

A: Under a mandatory furlough, pay is subject to reduction, because the intent is to save personal services dollars.

Q: Will the furlough day be counted in the total hours for overtime purposes of an essential employee?

A: By statute (C.R.S. § 24-50-104.5), employees who are designated as essential employees must have paid leave included in all hours worked for overtime purposes. Because a furlough day is unpaid, that time is not counted.

Q: Can employees take an extra furlough day to help a fellow employee?

A: Unfortunately, this is not an option. However, there are other options to help fellow employees. You can take the equivalent amount of money that you were willing to furlough for another employee and donate it to the Credit Union of Colorado Foundation. Through generous funding by the Foundation, the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (CSEAP) provides emergency financial assistance grants to State employees in need.

Q: Why do married state employees both have to take furlough days?

A: Although everyone has individual concerns, the furloughs are based on business decisions related to the budget. For employees where this creates a financial emergency you may be eligible for assistance through CSEAP. State employees may apply for small grants below $500 to address critical documented expenses (e.g. housing, utilities - power, natural gas, etc.). CSEAP also provides a list of additional organizations available to assist with basic needs, resources, and services.

Q: Can employees who are furloughed file for unemployment?

A: Certain criteria must be met in order to be eligible for unemployment benefits. Generally, this includes working fewer than 32 hours, earning less than the weekly amount unemployment may pay you to receive unemployment insurance benefits, and separation from employment at no fault of your own. For the most complete and updated unemployment benefit information, please visit cdle.colorado.gov/unemployment.

If the State initiates furloughs that exceed ten (10) working days in a thirty (30) day period, agencies and departments shall encourage those employees to access unemployment benefits and will not contest such applications.

Q: How much will furloughs save the State's budget?

A: Furloughs are estimated to save the State's budget between $7 and $8 million from all fund sources. This is one tool that is being used to implement the personal services reductions that were included in the FY 2020-21 Long Bill, and are needed in order to balance against the operational changes and other reductions to programs and services that help make up the remainder of those reductions.

Q: Does an employee have the right to grieve or appeal the fact that they are being furloughed? What about any other decision made in connection with the Executive Order?

A: The Executive Order states that "Decisions made in connection with implementing this Executive Order, including but not limited to determinations regarding which positions are and are not exempt from mandatory furlough and whether and when to require employees to take alternative furlough days, are not subject to review or appeal, except for claims of discrimination, whistleblower, or those claims expressly provided a right of appeal or hearing in the State Constitution or under State statute."

Should you believe you have an appealable or grievable claim you wish to pursue, you must follow the procedures set forth in the State Personnel Board Rules. As provided in Personnel Board Rule 8-8, "an employee must initiate the grievance process within 10 days of the action or occurrence being grieved."

Q: If an employee has floating furlough days to take and separates from state employment before the end of the fiscal year, is their final paycheck reduced to account for the remaining furlough days?

A: Separating employees are not charged the remaining furlough days.

Q: When should agencies notify job applicants and candidates about the mandatory furlough? In the job announcement, during the interview process, or in the new hire offer letter?

A: Agencies can determine the best time to notify affected new employees about the mandatory furlough days (e.g. during interviews, offer letter, etc.).

Q: How is the budget impacted by the pay date shift if monthly paid employees take furlough days in June?

A: Employees who are paid monthly, funded with General Funds, and take furloughs in June will have the impact of those furloughs shifted into FY 2021-22 due to the pay date shift.  Agencies trying to capture savings associated with the furloughs in FY 2020-21 to meet reduction targets should take note of this and manage employee furloughs to be taken by June 1, 2021 to avoid having the savings shifted into the next fiscal year.  For questions, please contact your department’s budget director.

Q: If an employee's salary is reduced because they demote to a classification with a lower pay range, is the number of their allotted furlough days adjusted?

A: No, the number of furlough days is determined by the July 1, 2020 annualized base salary. The furlough day pay deduction is based on the employee’s annualized hourly rate at the time the furlough is taken.

Q: If an employee’s base salary was increased after July 1, 2020 is the number of their allotted furlough days adjusted?

A: No, the number furlough days is determined by the July 1, 2020 annualized base salary. The furlough day pay deduction is based on the employee’s annualized hourly rate at the time the furlough is taken.

Q:  Can a part time employee combine hours from two or more furlough days to take an 8 hour furlough?

A: The employee may combine hours from two or more furlough days and take them in one day, if approved by the supervisor.

Q: Can an employee work overtime during the same work period of a furlough day when overtime will be paid by a federal grant?

A: No, overtime can be worked during the furlough week regardless of funding source that pays the employees salary.

Q: If an employee has to work on the designated November 27th furlough day, can they take an alternate earlier than that date? For example, can I take it on November 25th?

A: Some offices cannot be entirely shut down on a designated mandatory furlough day without imposing a substantial hardship on or adversely impacting the health or safety of the citizens of the State, or because doing so would substantially impair the ability of the office to meet its legal obligations. Because of these limitations, the Governor granted each Executive Director the flexibility to determine whether it is necessary and in the best interest of the State to permit certain employees subject to mandatory furlough to take their furlough day on a day other than the one designated above. Although this exemption will be sparingly invoked, such flexibility is necessary to ensure that the State continues to meet its obligations during the furloughs. Those employees occupying positions that cannot be furloughed on the designated furlough day will take their furlough day on an alternative date determined by their agency.