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Update for Faculty and Staff

Updated April 9, 2020

Revisions to the University's Furlough Policies

As we continue to plan the University’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are immediately revising the University’s Furlough Policy as described in the Exempt and Non-Exempt Employee Handbooks.  The present policy allows for furloughs of up to 10 days with a 30 day advance notification within any fiscal year.  Furloughs, like layoffs, allow personnel to apply for unemployment benefits, but, unlike layoffs, furloughing will not interfere with an employee’s eligibility to participate in most fringe benefit programs. Furloughed employees will also be able to stay enrolled in health and dental insurance through COBRA with the University continuing to pay its portion of the health insurance premium.  For this reason, given the uncertainty of the current situation, the University would first exercise the option to place personnel on furlough before considering layoffs.  To facilitate this option, the new policy will immediately allow furloughs for up to 30 calendar days without a prior advance notification.  These changes were approved by the President and the President’s Staff on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020.  It will take some time to make the actual changes to the handbooks, and thus we are notifying the University community of this important change now.

For any personnel who might be furloughed, Human Resources will provide the information needed to file for unemployment compensation and provide necessary information about what the continuation of benefits means for furloughed employees.   The recent passage of the Federal CARES Act, and the enhancements to unemployment compensation that the Act provides, means that many individuals placed on furlough may be receiving the same, or more, in weekly compensation while on furlough while still being allowed to access important University benefits such as their health insurance. 

Dr. Richard A. Wagner
Vice President for Finance and Administration