Ohio University

Furlough Plan for FY 2021

In accordance with Ohio University Policy 41.016 (Employee Furloughs), and as supported by Section 371.60.20 of Amended Substitute House Bill No. 1, effective on July 17, 2009, the following Furlough Plan is hereby implemented for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. 

I. DEFINITIONS

A. Furlough:  A non-permanent reduction in wages due to lack of work, a projected operational budget deficit, and/or other decline in financial resources.

B. Cost Savings Furlough Plan: A cost savings mechanism that will adjust salaries and provide a balance of furlough leave days for most employees for a specified period of time. Furlough leave days may be determined by the President or the President’s designee. Furlough leave is not a layoff or reduction in force, as outlined in the civil service rules and Ohio University Policy 41.016. 

C. Extended Furlough Leave:  A continuous period of leave of absence greater than one week, but less than six (6) months, where an employee is not performing work or receiving pay.  Extended furloughs are subject to independent review and approval of the President or the President’s designee. Successive extended furloughs may be granted based on operational and financial needs. 

II. FISCAL YEAR 2021- FURLOUGH PLAN

A.  Cost Savings Furlough Plan

1. The cost savings furlough plan is intended to address projected operational budget deficits and reductions of financial resources.

2. The furlough plan is applicable to all non-bargaining Ohio University employees, including Faculty, Administrative, and non-bargaining Classified employees.

a. The following employees are exempt from the furlough plan:  employee members of the FOP and AFSCME Collective Bargaining Units, employees who are holders of H-1B visas, student employees, and employees who perform mission critical functions or who maintain the health and safety on the university campus as determined by the President or his designee.  

3. The furlough plan is applicable for the period beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021.  The furlough plan is subject to review and modification during this applicable period. 

4. Eligible employees shall incur a cost savings wage reduction based on the employees’ base pay rate in addition to any fiscal increment and/or additional salary received in accordance with the tiered structure detailed below.  In turn, employees shall receive furlough leave days consistent with the wage reduction as outlined below.  The tiered furlough plan is as follows:

EMPLOYEE WAGE FURLOUGH LEAVE DAYS EQUIVALENT WAGE REDUCTION
$0 to $37,999 mandated days only 0
$38,000 to $64,999 10 days 3.8%
$65,000 to $99,999 12 days 4.6%
$100,000 to $149,999 14 days 5.4%
$150,000 to $199,999 16 days 6.1%
$200,000 and above 18 days 6.9%

5. In an effort to minimize the impact of the wage reduction and furlough leave, the employees gross wage reduction will be spread over the course of the entire fiscal year and applied each pay period.  

6. For the purposes of improving University operational efficiency, the President has mandated specific days on which furlough leave days shall be utilized by employees. Employees who must work on a mandated furlough day may schedule an alternate furlough day with supervisory approval based on operational needs. For Fiscal Year 2020-2021, eligible employees shall take the following mandatory furlough days:

a. November 25, 2020
b. December 21, 2020
c. December 22, 2020
d. December 23, 2020
e. December 24, 2020
f. January 4, 2021
g. January 5, 2021

7. Employees who must report to work on a scheduled furlough leave day to perform mission critical work will continue to receive their regular cost savings reduced pay for their services on the mandatory furlough day and shall schedule their furlough leave day on an alternate date with supervisory approval.  Neither additional compensation nor overtime will be provided for working on a scheduled mandatory furlough day.

8. Employees who received furlough leave days in excess of the mandatory, specifically scheduled furlough days outlined above shall request, schedule, and use these days off throughout the fiscal year, once approved by their supervisor.

9. Furlough days may not be carried forward into the next fiscal year.  If furlough leave days are not utilized, they will be waived with no wage adjustments.

B. Extended Furlough Options

1. An extended furlough plan may be applied to specifically identified employees and is intended to address projected operational budget deficits and reductions of financial resources as a result of prolonged lack of work opportunities.

2. Extended furloughs are temporary leaves of absence of contiguous days for time periods greater than one week, but less than six (6) months, for employees who do not have sufficient work  or in circumstances where a planning unit, college or department require more extensive cost savings mechanisms due to projected operational budget deficit or other decline in financial resources. Successive extended furloughs may be granted based on operational and financial needs.

3. Extended furlough plans are established and recommended by the Planning Unit Head and are subject to the review and approval of the President or President’s designee.      

III. GENERAL GUIDELINES


A. Before a furlough is implemented, the President or President’s designee will perform an operational budget analysis to ensure needs and the cost-savings effectiveness. Reviews may be ongoing and modifications to the furlough plan may be necessary.  Modifications may be implemented at the discretion of the President or the President’s designee.  

B. Campus-wide notification of furlough plans shall be given no later than thirty (30) days prior to implementation of the furlough, except in the event of a major university crisis, including but not limited to a catastrophe, natural disaster, pandemic or in the event of financial exigency.

C. The University reserves the option to exempt any employee earning below a designated annual minimum salary or hourly pay rate, as determined by the President or the President’s designee, from being required to take furlough leave. The President or designee will communicate the minimum salary threshold at the time the furlough is enacted.

D. Intermittent and temporary employees will be excluded from the furlough.

E. Employees who are holders of H-1B visas, as defined in 20 CFR 655.731, will not be subject to furlough.

F. Student employees and students with graduate appointments are not subject to furlough.

G. Bargaining Unit employees shall follow the provisions detailed in their respective collective bargained agreements as they relate to furloughs.

H. Contract employees will follow the provisions detailed in their respective agreements.

I. Employees who perform mission critical functions or who maintain the health and safety on the university campus may be exempted from the furlough plan, subject to President’s approval.   

J. Faculty and staff positions fully supported by an outside funding source, including grant funded positions, shall be required to take furlough leave.

K. Impacted faculty and staff shall not report to work and shall not perform work for Ohio University on furlough leave days.  This requirement will be strictly enforced.

L. No vacation, personal days, sick leave, or compensatory time will be approved in lieu of furlough leave.

M. Additionally, paid holidays or other paid time off cannot be substituted for furlough leave.

N. New employees who meet the annual salary threshold will be subject to the furlough. If a start date is later than July 1, 2020, the policy will apply on a prorated basis.  This also applies to current employees who transfer, promote, demote or otherwise accept a new position within Ohio University.  

O. Supervisors may not permit hourly employees to work overtime in a week in which there is a furlough leave. Overtime may not be used to subvert furlough leave requirements.

P. Furlough leave days may only be taken in full day increments, except for those part-time employees whose prorated furlough leave requirement is not evenly divisible by their normal daily hours.

Q. Faculty members may not schedule furlough leave for times in which they are scheduled to perform instructional duties, except in the event of any major university crisis, and at the direction of the President or designee.   

R. Retirement benefits may be impacted by the cost saving wage reduction.  Employees shall contact their respective retirement system for information.

S. Life and Accidental Death and Disability insurance, and Long and Short-term Disability Benefits may be impacted by the cost saving wage reduction.  Long and Short-term Disability Benefits eligibility may be impacted by Extended Furloughs.

T. Employees remain subject to all applicable payroll deductions during the furlough period.

U. All furlough leave days shall be properly documented in University time management systems, as determined by University Human Resources.  Leave accruals will continue with the use of a specific furlough leave code on bi-weekly time sheets and monthly leave reports.

V. Eligibility for health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, flexible spending accounts, or life insurance is retained, provided that employees continue to pay premiums required.

W. This plan is subject to review, modification and change as determined by the President.

FY21 Staff Furloughs Page and FAQs

Visit the FY21 Staff Furloughs page for more information including a listing of frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not addressed please email uhr@ohio.edu.