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Human Resources

Work Limit Guidance for Supervisors with Employees on Administrative Furlough 2020

The following guidance is developed for supervisors who have direct reports impacted by an administrative furlough effective August 9, 2020. For the most recent information and questions pertaining to unemployment or University benefits, please consult the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the HR website. Additional employee questions can be directed to HR Benefits or Employee Relations and Engagement, as applicable.

  1. Communication regarding furloughs. As you have conversations with employees regarding the administrative furlough, it may be important to address the following points with employees:
    • Employees impacted by an administrative furlough will receive notification on July 10, 2020 which will specify the employee's number of furlough days to be taken and the savings to the unit/college as a result of those furlough days.
    • In the employee notification, exempt (salaried) employees will have an option to elect a voluntary salary reduction. The process for an employee to elect this option is explained in the letter. It is imperative that anyone in an authoritative role, including supervisors, do not suggest a voluntary salary reduction. This election must be a decision made by the employee.
    • If employees have questions about the voluntary salary reduction and which option is best for them, please direct them to the HR frequently asked questions and in particular, #26.
    • Recognize the difficult balance between empathy and providing guidance that could potentially be confusing as it pertains to their personal situations that may surround sensitive topics such as unemployment, benefits, etc...
    • Use the FAQs for specific talking points and questions that come your way. Stay out of personal business and if pertinent, please direct to email hr@ksu.edu for outside guidance.
  2. Furlough utilization. Colleges and units are encouraged to work with their supervisors to clearly provide guidance on steps the employees should take as it pertains to utilizing furlough days.

    Employees, supervisors, and HR liaisons who are impacted by administrative furlough are encouraged to take Navigating Administrative Furlough training on the HR website.
    • Employees should use full week furloughs to the extent possible. A full week of furlough may increase eligibility for the employee to receive unemployment benefits.
    • Employees must take furlough days as full days. This applies to part-time employees or employees whose work schedule is outside of the traditional 8-hour workday. The employee will need to take a full work day according to their schedule. A furlough day is considered from 12:00 AM-11:59 PM and for an employee to utilize that day as furlough day, no work may be performed during that time.
    • If an employee uses furlough in day increments instead of as a full week, that employee must record all hours worked for the week in which administrative furlough is utilized—this applies to both exempt and non-exempt employees.
    • When an employee utilizes furlough days during a week, the number of hours worked in that week may not exceed 40 hours less the number of furlough days (x8 hours) regardless of FLSA status. Employees may not be asked to work more than their scheduled hours during the rest of the week.

      Example: If an employee takes 2 days of furlough and traditionally works 40 hours in a work week, the employee would not be able to work more than 24 hours for the remainder of that work week.
  3. No contact or work during furloughs. Employees may not work during a furlough day or week.
    • Employees may not conduct work while on furlough (e.g., emails, meetings, prepping, teaching, working with students, etc...). Any tasks related to official duties for K-State or work that would normally be done for pay at the university counts as work. This includes service on K-State committees. If faculty members provide service that would be recorded on an activity report and be evaluated on, it is considered work. Services or work provided or contributed to outside organizations such as a professional association or consulting would not be considered time worked, unless this time is counted towards the service requirement for your college/unit.
    • Employees may not volunteer to do any unpaid K-State work while on a furlough day.
    • Supervisors shall not intentionally contact furloughed employees during any furlough period. This means, among other activities, supervisors shall not engage with furloughed employees about any topic in any way related to work.
    • If an employee should be required to work on a furlough day due to mission critical work or work that may not be reassigned to another individual, the employee must schedule the furlough day at another time. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to work together to ensure the timing is mutually beneficial.
  4. Unauthorized work. If you believe an employee has engaged in (unauthorized) work during furlough time, please contact HR Employee Relations and Engagement for guidance.

  5. Utilization of accrued leave. Accrued leave may not be taken during furlough days because furlough is mandatory leave without pay. However, accrued leave may be used in partnership with furlough days. Examples include:
    • An employee uses a full-week furlough and wishes to add two additional vacation days the week before.
    • An employee needs to take two furlough days in a week and would also like to take three vacation days for an entire week off.

Supervisors are encouraged to support employees during these difficult and unprecedented times. Mission critical work at Kansas State University must continue and your leadership is vital to champion appropriate resources that will assist employees. Please remember that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24/7 for all employees and can be reached at 888.275.1205 (Option 1). TDD/TT 800.697.0353.