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Human Capital Services

Administrative Furlough Plans - FY21

Appendix 1: Administrative Furlough Guidance Memo


TO: President, Vice Presidents, Chief Information Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Deans and CEOs, Vice Provosts, Associate Provosts, Director, Staley School for Leadership Studies

FROM: Jay Stephens, Vice President, Human Capital Services Chuck Taber, Provost and Executive Vice President

RE: Guidance for Units Planning and Implementing Administrative Furloughs for FY21

DATE: June 8, 2020


This document provides guidance on planning and implementing an administrative furlough for FY21. Please share with those within your unit with a need to know the information in order to plan and execute an administrative furlough if one is required to meet your budgetary targets. Unit-specific plans from Deans and Vice Presidents will be compiled into a university plan to be announced by President Myers according to the timeline listed below.

An administrative furlough is a planned short-term action designed to address budget reductions necessitated by reasons other than a lapse in appropriations. This is different from an emergency furlough, which occurs when there is an immediate or imminent lack of funding to continue operations or any emergency that results in an unanticipated interruption of funding to the University.

By policy, furloughs at K-State are short term. The University may have to do another round of administrative or emergency furloughs, but you should not plan to continue these furloughs to meet your budget in FY22.

FY21 Administrative Furlough Planning Process and Timeline

Administrative furloughs require a plan prepared at least 30 days in advance of implementing the furlough. Under K-State policy, the President must have an open meeting of the university community to explain the need and provide information about the plan. This announcement also should happen at least 30 days before the furlough is implemented. This means the shared governance input from Faculty Senate and USS Senate should happen prior to the announcement. Implementation of a unit's administrative furlough plan will begin no earlier than August 9, 2020. The planning process will be conducted between June 8, 2020 and July 10, 2020.

The timeline and planning process steps are:

  • June 8, 2020
    • Guidance is finalized and communicated to Deans, Vice Presidents, and Faculty Senate/USS Presidents
  • June 8, 2020-June 22, 2020
    • Deans/Vice Presidents design and submit plans to HCS
  • June 15, 2020-June 22, 2020
    • Consultation with HCS (see #16 below)
  • June 22, 2020-June 26,2020
    • HCS and Office of General Counsel legal review of plans
  • June 26, 2020-June 30, 2020
    •  HCS compiles unit-specific plans into university plan
  • July1, 2020-July 7, 2020
    • Consultation with Faculty Senate/USS Senate
  • July 10, 2020
    • President Myers holds open meeting announcing the administrative furlough plan
    • Impacted employees receive notification

The Colleges and other units need to submit their plans on the administrative furlough planning template provided by HCS by June 22 as listed in the implementation timeline above. The template is still under development and will be shared by Wednesday, June 10.

Considerations and Parameters when Designing and Implementing an Administrative Furlough
  1. Furlough parameters. The furlough plan will be implemented in a manner that ensures the continuation of critical services with minimal disruption to the University. The furlough plan will be managed in such a way that endeavors to maintain the safety of the University, its employees, students and assets. A furlough may not result in the cancellation of classes or place the University in a position of non-compliance with existing contractual and regulatory obligations associated with externally funded sponsored activities.

  2. Use of Standard Salary Tier Structure. Administrative furlough plans will be designed using a standard six-tier salary structure. The structure provides flexibility to differentiate plans based on level of pay while standardizing cut-off salary ranges. Deans and other major unit leaders have the flexibility to determine which tiers to employ and the number of furlough days designated within each tier or groups of tiers in order to meet their budgetary targets.



  3. Converting Furlough Days for 12 Month Employees to 9 Month Employees. When determining the number of days to apply a furlough to a particular salary tier, units need apply a calculation to equalize the number of days of furlough for 12 month and 9 month employees. In a normal year, 12 month employees work 2,080 hours. 9 Month employees work 1,600 hours which equates to approximately 77% of the hours for a 12 month employee.

    If a unit opts to apply furlough days to a salary tier which includes both 12 month and 9 month employees, they will need to apply a conversion calculation in order to not disproportionately apply a greater furlough to 9 month employees.

    For example, applying 5 furlough days to a 12 Month employee would equate to 1.9% of that employees annual salary. However, the same 5 days of furlough would equate to 2.5% of a 9 month employees annual salary.

    When calculating the conversion, units shall determine the number of furlough days to deploy to 12 month employees and then take 77% of that number of days to apply to 9 month employees. In order to calculate a whole day, units should round down the result to the next lowest equivalent day. The table below provides example calculations for use in developing furlough plans.

    12 MonthDays 

    9 MonthDays 
    Closest equivalent full day of furlough (rounded down)

  4. Use full week furloughs to the extent possible. FLSA compliance issues are significantly minimized if you implement furloughs on a weeklong basis. It eliminates the need to track hours for exempt employees and the risk of someone working while on furlough time. If you choose to use partial week furloughs, each employee must track all hours worked. And subject to certain very limited exceptions, you may not ask the employee to work more than their scheduled hours during the rest of that week. For full time employees, that generally means if they are furloughed for one day/week they cannot exceed 32 hours the rest of the week, even if they normally are exempt. Moreover, employees must take furlough days as full days.

  5. NO work while on furlough. Employees on furlough time may not work at all—no emails, no meetings, no prepping, no teaching or working with students, etc. The employee also cannot volunteer to work during furlough time. Supervisors and other employees shall not contact furloughed employees during any furlough period about anything in any way related to work. Work conversations shall resume only after the employee is no longer on furlough and has returned to work. You should consider the impact of this no work rule in deciding how to implement furloughs. Employees should be instructed of the same limitations in their notice of furloughs, which should be in writing. A template from HCS will be available in the coming weeks.

  6. Manage expectations to account for furlough time. When you furlough an employee, you need to account for the fact that they are not permitted to work, particularly if the furlough occurs during a typical worktime. There are ways to strategically implement furlough timing to minimize this impact, such as imposing the furlough during breaks when workload is less. Again, no work can be expected, directed, or even permitted during furlough time.

  7. Certain positions are exempt from furloughs. Due to complications arising from immigration legal restrictions, employees on H1-B and E-3 visa status should not be furloughed. Additionally, temporary employees, graduate students, student employees, and employees on sabbatical leave all are excluded from administrative furloughs. Reductions in work for these categories of employees, if applicable, should be handled through other avenues.

  8. Grant-funded employees. Generally, employees whose salaries/wages are funded through grant dollars should not be furloughed to the extent of that funding. This is to assure the University is meeting the contractual terms of the grant award. Also, reducing funds expended from those grants on salaries, in most instances, means the University would have to return those grant funds to the funding source, which does not result in savings to the University. Additionally, under very specific circumstances, faculty can switch their funding from state funds to sponsored project funds if they receive approval of their sponsor, increase their actual time and effort expended on said grant for a period of time for the purpose of accomplishing the deliverables of the research, and the change is approved by the department head who will ensure that the department's teaching commitments are maintained.

  9. Clearly document decisions to exempt employees from an administrative furlough. There needs to be articulable business reasons to exempt employees, which are applied consistently across the position, classes of employees, geographic area, and/or college/organizational units or the combination of any of these. Please include in your plan—in the space provided in the administrative furlough template—why these employees are designated as exempt from the administrative furlough.

  10. No substitutes or overtime to make up for a furlough period. No annual or other paid leave may be used in lieu of a furlough. No overtime or compensatory time may be granted to compensate for the loss of services of furloughed employees. There is no expectation of employees being made 'whole' (e.g. restoration of reduced salary or retirement contributions) after the conclusion of a furlough.

  11. Timing of pay reductions. Reductions in pay must correspond with each pay period in which the employee is furloughed.

  12. Holiday pay. If there is a holiday during a week of furlough, you still have to pay that holiday or give holiday leave. Please consider this in your budget plan.

  13. Unauthorized work. If you believe an employee has engaged in (unauthorized) work during furlough time, please promptly contact HCS Employee Relations for guidance.

  14. Leave for non-furloughed employees. You do not need to restrict paid leave of non-furloughed employees during an administrative furlough period. Please maintain flexibility in your plan for the unit to impose furlough days/weeks at a time that does not result in extra cost to the unit (i.e., when another employee with related duties has to be on leave).

  15. Employees electing to take a salary reduction in lieu of furlough days. Exempt employees may choose to voluntarily take a salary reduction in lieu of furlough days identified in their college/unit administrative furlough plan. It needs to be truly voluntary - the employee should offer it without a supervisor suggesting or imposing it. . Please note that employees on furlough would get time off in exchange for the mandated furlough leave without pay, which may provide greater benefit to the employee. HCS will provide a template for employees to use when electing a voluntary salary reduction after being informed they are included in an administrative furlough plan.

  16. Consultation with HCS. College and units must participate in an informational meeting with HCS Leadership to ensure conformity with the furlough implementation plan. HCS will schedule one meeting for all impacted units in the coming days as outlined in the timeline above.

  17. HCS inquiries and other questions. If an employee has questions about unemployment or University benefits, please direct the to the administrative furlough FAQs. If they have additional questions, please direct them to HCS as applicable at hr@ksu.edu.

Cc: Budget Officers
Cynthia Slover, USS President
Melinda Markham, Faculty Senate President