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Furloughs FAQ

The following is a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to UB’s FY2018 Furlough plan. If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Human Resources.

  1. What is a furlough?

A furlough is the placement of an employee in a temporary non-duty, non-pay status for budget-required reasons. Essentially, it is an unpaid day off from work.


  1. Why are we being furloughed?

UB is experiencing significant fiscal challenges, requiring both immediate and long-term solutions.  The salary reduction and furlough plan is one part of the short-term solution, which also includes executive team salary reductions, a hiring freeze, travel restrictions, and limits to departmental spending. 


  1. What are the details of this year’s furlough plan?

The details are outlined on the UB FY18 Furlough Plan Web page.


  1. Which employees on campus are being furloughed?

Regular faculty, exempt staff and contingent II employees whose salary is $55,000 or above are included in the furlough program. 


  1. Who  is excluded from furloughs?

University police officers and security guards, non-exempt staff, adjunct faculty, contingent I employees, graduate assistants, student wage employees, H-1B visa holders, and grant-funded employees are excluded from the furlough program. Employees whose salary is below $55,000 will not be reduced in this year’s furlough plan.


  1. Why are some employees excluded from the furlough requirements?

University police and security officers are excluded because their continued presence on campus ensures the safety and security of the university community. Even when UB is closed, the city requires us to provide ample security to our campus and its immediate surroundings.

H-1B  visa employees are excluded because federal requirements do not allow an H-1B visa individual to be placed on unpaid leave.

Grant-funded employees are excluded because they are paid through external funding sources. Applying furloughs to those positions would not result in any direct savings to the budget.


  1. How many days will I be furloughed?

Furlough days are being allocated by salary range as indicated in the chart.

 

Salary Range

Number of Furlough Days

Percent of pay reduction

Below $25,000 - $54,999

0

0%

$55,000 - $59,999

3

1.15%

$60,000 - $69,999

4

1.54%

$70,000 - $79,999

5

1.92%

$80,000 - $99,999

6

2.31%

$100,000 - $119,999

7

2.69%

$120,000 - $149,999

8

3.08%

$150,000 - $174,999

9

3.46%

$175,000 and above

10

3.85%


  1. Can I choose which days I take furlough days?

Yes, with supervisor approval to minimize impact on operations.  Furlough days must be taken before June 30, 2018.


  1. Will my benefits be reduced as a result of the furloughs?

Benefits will not be affected by the furlough plan.

  • Health benefits will not be affected since there will be no change in your health benefits deductions.
  • Retirement will not be affected since there is no change in your reported annual salary.
  • Leave accrual rates will not be reduced.
  • Supplemental retirement deductions (e.g., 401k, 403b and 457b, if applicable) will not be affected.

  1. May I use paid leave in lieu of a furlough day?

No.  You cannot use annual, personal or sick time to offset furlough time


  1. When will the furlough reductions be taken from my paycheck?

To limit the impact on any one pay check, pay reductions from the furlough days will be distributed in equal amounts over 19 pay periods.  This will begin with pay period October 10, 2017 (pay date October 18th) and end pay period ending June 19, 2018 (pay date June 27th).

(Annual Salary / 260 work days) * Number of days in the chart above = total salary reduction
The reduction in each pay check will be the total salary reduction / 19 pay periods

Example:  $80,000 salary

($80,000 / 260) * 6 = $1846.15 total salary reduction
$1846.15 / 19 pay periods = $97.17 per pay period 


  1. How should furlough time be coded on my timesheet?

Use the code FUR on your timesheet.


  1. Will there be a change to the timesheet deadline?

The web timesheet deadline has been adjusted by one day beginning pay period ending October 10, 2017 and ending pay period June 19, 2018. The Office of Payroll has updated the 2017 – 2018 Regular Payroll Schedule to include the FY 18 UB Furlough Plan.  As always, your cooperation is critical to the successful and timely processing of payroll for all employees. 


  1. Who is responsible for informing employees of the number of days (hours) that are required to be taken during the furlough period?

Employees can determine their furlough days using the chart above.  Supervisors will be responsible for communicating and monitoring the process. Also, your furlough obligation appears on your timesheet in the Current Leave Balances section.


  1. Will classes be canceled as a result of the furlough plan?

No. In keeping with the guiding principles of the furlough plan to minimize impact on students, classes will not be canceled and essential student services will not be curtailed.


  1. May I come to campus and work on the furlough days?

No. Employees should not be permitted to be in their work areas or to perform official duties when taking furlough time. Supervisors may not direct employees to work nor are employees to work on their own.


  1. What happens if  there is a crisis that requires me to report to work on a scheduled furlough day? 

Your appointing authority may revoke a furlough day, if absolutely necessary, and you will be paid for work performed on that day. You would then schedule another furlough day before June 30, 2018.


  1. Can I use furlough hours on a scheduled day off if I have a compressed workweek schedule?

No. Employees on alternate work or compressed schedules must schedule furlough hours on work days. Work schedules may be adjusted to accommodate the scheduling of furlough hours.


  1. How will the plan impact an employee who is on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) qualifying leave?

Employees on FMLA are subject to the furlough.  The salary reduction will be spread over the same 19 pay periods.  An employee on FMLA-qualifying paid leave will not be required to take furlough hours during the absence. Once the employee has exhausted paid leave, furlough hours may be taken concurrent with unpaid FMLA-designated leave.


  1. Can an employee request a furlough day before or after a paid state holiday or in conjunction with paid leave?

Yes. An employee may also take furlough hours in conjunction with other forms of paid leave.


  1. Can an employee receive unemployment benefits to cover the loss of compensation due to the furlough plan or the temporary salary reduction?

No. Employees will not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits to cover the loss of compensation as a result of the furlough plan or the temporary salary reduction.


  1. Does an employee have grievance rights regarding the furlough plan or the temporary salary reduction?

Neither an employee’s participation in the furlough plan nor a temporary salary reduction gives rise to any grievance or appeal rights.


  1. Who do I contact if I have more questions?

If questions remain, contact the Office of Human Resources at 410.837.5410.

Last Published 10/2/17