COVID-19 Furlough Information

The link to the furlough form below will be used to select the dates of your involuntary furlough. Staff must take their furlough days between July 1, 2020 and June 11, 2021. Faculty must take their furlough days between July 1, 2020 and May 17,2021. Please consult with your supervisor prior to completing the form to make sure there is adequate staffing in the office. The number of required furlough days is based on your FY21 base salary according to the schedule below:

Annual salary of $100,000 or more – 12 furlough days (or 96 hours)     
Annual salary of $80,000 – $99,000  – 8 furlough days (or 64 hours)
Annual salary of $60,000 – $79,000 – 6 furlough days (or 48 hours)
Annual salary of $40,000 – $59,000 – 4 furlough days (or 32 hours)
Below $40,000 – No requirement
Furlough days are self-selected by filling out this form by Friday, June 19, 2020. After June 19, 2020 furlough days will be selected for individuals by their supervisor that have not completed the Mandatory Furlough Form.

Employees hired after July 1, 2020, will not be required to take furloughs.  You can volunteer to take a furlough, but are not required.  Employees who transition jobs within LCSC after July 1, 2020, will need to adjust their furlough (prorated) based on the new salary.

What is a furlough?

A furlough is mandated, temporary, unpaid leave of absence from work taken as a result of a lack of funding and/or shortage of work.

What is the difference between a furlough and a reduction-in-force?
A furlough is an equal reduction of hours worked for all positions in the same classification or uniformly tiered as applied to certain salary levels or classifications in the agency for a limited period of time.   Generally, furloughs are due to a temporary lack of funding and/or shortage of work.

A reduction-in-force (RIF) is the elimination of a position or positions due to a lack of funding, shortage of work, or reorganization.

Who has the authority to mandate a furlough?
The Governor and/or an agency appointing authority has the authority to mandate a furlough.

How are benefits handled during a furlough?

  • Health Benefits
    Mandatory income-based furloughs taken sporadically throughout the summer will not impact medical premium deductions.  Furloughs of 10 or more consecutive days will require the employee to pay their portion of the premium in order to keep health insurance. If you have any questions regarding how furloughs will/will not impact your health insurance please contact Human Resources.
  • PERSI
    An employee accrues one month of service for each calendar month worked as an active member of PERSI. A calendar month is one in which the employee works 15 days or more at ½ time or greater. Employees who are subject to mandatory furloughs or choose to take voluntary furlough leave (up to five days) and do not experience other unpaid leave that results in less than 15 days worked in that month will receive service credit for PERSI. An employee must be paid (pay may include wages, holiday pay, sick, annual or allowed leave pay) for at least 20 hours per week. Those on academic appointment must have at least a 50% contract. Overtime does not provide additional credited service or count towards the minimum service requirement.
  • Optional Retirement Plans (ORP); TIAA and AIG/Valic
    If an employee is not working or receiving wages the employee’s portion of the ORP is paused. Credited service or vesting is not affected by furlough for those who participate in ORP.
  • Am I eligible for unemployment benefits through the Department of Labor?
    According to the Idaho Department of Labor, as long as an employee does not work full time in any given week, the employee can apply for benefits during the week for which the employee works less than full time. Make sure to check the State Department of Labor for guidelines on unemployment and how to file a claim.

Can an employee perform any work during a furlough?
No. Employees cannot perform work in any capacity during this time, including answering email, returning calls, or being “on-call.”

Who can I talk to about the impacts of the furlough on me?
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free, confidential service that provides short-term counseling services to help address personal, financial, career, and work-life issues to eligible employees and their families. To access this benefit, simply call the EAP at (877) 427-2327 and identify yourself as a State of Idaho/ Lewis-Clark State College employee.

Our LC State Human Resources team is here for you. If you would like to speak to one of our team members about how the furlough will impact you, please reach out at [email protected] or call (208) 792-2269.

Can the impact of the days I am furloughed be spread over multiple pay periods?
Yes, staff must take their furlough days between July 1, 2020 and June 11, 2021. Faculty must take their furlough days between July 1, 2020 and May 17,2021, in order for LC State to see the savings in FY21. Please work with your supervisor when selecting furlough dates to ensure your department’s basic services will be covered.

Will a furlough leave impact sick and vacation leave accrual?
Sick and annual leave accruals are based on hours worked. There will be no accrual of sick and annual leave balances during furlough hours.

How does a furlough day impact a holiday?
You cannot take a furlough day on a paid holiday. Please view the holiday schedule to ensure you do not schedule a furlough day on a holiday.

May I use vacation, sick leave, compensatory time, or other accrued leave to receive pay on a furlough day?
No, unfortunately, that does not result in cost savings for our organization.

How can I be furloughed if I have an employment contract?
Contracts are issued “subject to” the State Board of Education’s policies and procedures.

Employees may have their salaries reduced through furlough or work hour adjustments as provided for in Section II.B. of Idaho State Board Governing Policies and Procedures

I am a classified employee on a probationary period, how does a mandatory or voluntary furlough impact me?
Furlough days do not count towards probationary hours, you will continue on probation upon your return.

I am an employee whose salary is grant funded. Do I have to take a furlough?
If your salary or wage is 100% funded from a grant account (account numbers starting with “20”), then NO, you are not to take any furlough. If your salary or wage is partially funded from an institutional account (either local, appropriated, or auxiliary accounts), AND that institutional portion of your annual LC State income is above $40,000, then YES you are to take a furlough. The amount of furlough is determined by the amount of the institutional portion of your salary/wage.

Can an employee that is scheduled to take Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or an employee that is currently on FMLA be involuntarily furloughed?
Yes, however, no days associated with the furlough will count against the FMLA entitlement

Can an employee on Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Amended FMLA be involuntarily furloughed?
Yes, employees are not eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Amended FMLA during furloughs. When the furlough ends, employees may be eligible for paid sick or expanded family and medical leave if they meet the qualifications.

I’ve already taken unpaid leave this year for other reasons. Can this be used as a mandatory furlough day?
No, prior use of unpaid leave cannot be changed to furlough leave.

Will an essential employee face mandatory furloughs?
All employees that meet the criteria will be part of the furlough.

If I want to take more than one day of a voluntary furlough leave, can I spread the days out or do they need to be consecutive?
Furlough is taken in increments of one day up to as many days as your supervisor allows with supervisor prior approval, beginning July 1, 2020.

How much will furlough reduce my FY21 pay? To find this calculation please use the formula provided. 

1.  Salary / 2080 (total number of hours in the fiscal year as full-time employees are paid over 12 months) = hourly rate;

2.  Hourly rate x 8 hrs/day = Daily amount;

3.  Daily Amount x # of furlough days.

Example:

$45,000/2080 = $21.64/ hr (rounded up);
$21.64 x 8 = $173.12;
$173.12 x 4 days = $693 (rounded up)
Please note that this is ONLY for 1.00 FTE faculty and professional staff.

Will spread pay (9 month paid over 12 months) impact the furlough amount?

Yes. An employee on a less than 12-month appointment (i.e. academic year appointment) who is on spread pay will have a smaller impact. This is because the amount of furlough reduction in pay is based on the rate of salary during the furlough period, not the actual hourly rate of the employee. Spread pay employees are paid at a lower salary rate per hour because their annual salary is spread over the entire fiscal year, whereas the salary for standard pay employees is spread over the term of their contract.

I am a Classified Employee, in the same classification as my co-worker, and my co-worker is not being furloughed, does this violate Idaho Division of Human Resources Rules for Classified Employees?
No. Lewis-Clark State College’s furlough plan was reviewed and approved by the Idaho Division of Human Resources and furloughs can be based on salary and not classifications.  Due process procedures identified in IDAPA rules do not apply to furloughed employees because it is not a disciplinary action.

According to Idaho State Board of Education policies and LC State policies, I should receive notice prior to furloughs. Why am I not receiving my full notice?
Due to the significant impact coronavirus has had on the colleges and universities, the Idaho State Board of Education has waived the policies regarding furloughs.

May I take a furlough day on behalf of another employee to reduce the impact to the employee?
No.  You may only take the furlough days assigned to your salary level.

Must furlough hours be taken prior to a specific date?
Yes. Staff must take their furlough days between July 1, 2020 and June 11, 2021. Faculty must take their furlough days between July 1, 2020 and May 17,2021.

What happens if some employees have not taken the required furlough hours by the required date?
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees meet this requirement.

How should COVID-19 related furlough hours be coded on timesheets?
Any furlough related to COVID-19 should be coded to LWC.

Furloughs based on earnings:

Annual Base SalaryFurlough Days
$100,000 +12
$80,000 - 99,0008
$60,000 - 79,0006
$40,000 - 59,0004
Below $40,000No requirement

Who is responsible for ensuring that furlough time is taken?
Supervisors are responsible to ensure employees take the required furlough hours.

How is the furlough, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), applied to exempt employees?
For exempt staff and faculty, the FLSA requires an hourly record of the hours worked for any week in which furlough hours are taken.

Can my supervisor call me in to work during a furlough period?
Yes. If a classified employees works, the employee must be compensated for the time worked, reducing the furlough hours taken. If an exempt employee performs any work during the scheduled furlough, the employee must be compensated and must reschedule the furlough time..

May I volunteer to come to work while on furlough?
No. You are not authorized to work during furlough, even in a voluntary capacity.

How do I record my furlough hours?
When taking furlough days you must fill out and submit a time sheet for the pay period in which you are taking them. Please code all furlough days taken using code LWC - COVID-19 Furlough. Fill in the rest of the time sheet with your regular codes (ACT, VAC, SIC) for your regular hours (40) each week for a total of 80 hours on your time sheet. Please remember to submit the time sheet for approval by your supervisor.

Will I accrue vacation and sick leave while on furlough?
No. Vacation and sick leave are accrued based on hours worked. There are no hours worked during furlough and, therefore, no leave accrual.

I am a new LCSC employee?
Employees hired after July 1, 2020, will not be required to take furloughs.  You can volunteer to take a furlough, but are not required.  Employees who transition jobs within LCSC after July 1, 2020, will need to adjust their furlough (prorated) baed on the new salary.

Furloughs and Filing for Unemployment

Employees who are subject to mandatory furlough days are eligible to apply for unemployment. This is true even though employees get to select when to take those mandatory furlough days.

Eligibility

According to the Idaho Department of Labor, as long as an employee does not work full time in any given week, the employee can apply for benefits during the week for which the employee works less than full time. Make sure to check the State Department of Labor guidelines on unemployment an dhow to file a claim.

For a mandatory furlough, if the unemployment form asks when the last day of employment is what date do I put?
According to the Department of Labor, the last day of work before the furlough is the best date to use.
Note: You can check your eligibility and estimate your projected benefit by logging into the Claimant Portal and completing the personal information and work history sections. Access the Idaho DOL Registration Guide for help creating your account.

For other answers and information about unemployment, visit the Idaho Department of Labor Questions and Answers webpage