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Furlough Frequently Asked Questions

Furlough FAQs Furlough FAQs

Review furlough frequently asked questions (FAQs) and resources to assist and provide guidance during this time. 

About Furloughs

The following furlough FAQs are related to staff on all campuses unless otherwise noted in the response. For more information, please review the COVID-19 Furlough Policy.

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  • What is a furlough?

    A furlough is a cost saving measure used by an organization when there are budget shortfalls and/or there is a lack of work for staff. There are two furlough leave scenarios covered under the policy: a) full furlough; and b) intermittent furlough.

  • What is the difference between a furlough and a layoff from work?

    A furlough is when an employee is placed on a temporary unpaid absence from work for a defined period of time with the expectation that normal work duties will resume within a certain timeframe. However, a layoff occurs when there has been a redesign or elimination of the position due to reorganization, or a redundancy in roles.

  • What is the difference between an intermittent furlough and a full furlough?

    An intermittent furlough is a reduction in work hours during an employee’s workweek because of a temporary period where full-time work is not available. A full furlough is a period of a week or more during which an employee will not be working at all, most typically during the summer months of May, June, and July when students are not yet on campus or when medical operations have not fully resumed.

  • Who is excluded from the furlough program?

    • Staff whose salary is funded 100% from grant funds (i.e., federal, state, foundation)
    • Student workers
    • Graduate assistants and teaching assistants
    • Faculty
    • Employees covered by CBA
    • Per diem staff

  • Where can I find HR-related information and resources during my transition?

    To review HR-related information and resources to assist employees during a transition, please visit hr.miami.edu/transition-services. This information will focus on targeted efforts based on your type of employee transition.

Furlough Period

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Unemployment Benefits

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  • How does a furlough affect my unemployment benefits?

    The state’s unemployment office will determine whether you qualify for unemployment. If you meet the state’s eligibility criteria, you may be able to receive enhanced benefits.  For specific questions, we urge you to contact your local unemployment office. In Florida additional information can be found at Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. See chart below:

    Eligibility

    Maximum Weekly Benefit

    Period of Benefits

    Maximum

    State Reemployment Assistance

    • Earned a minimum of $3400
    • Have a minimum of two-quarters of covered wages
    • Total gross wages in the base year must be more than 1.5 higher than the quarter with the highest wages

     

    $275 (weekly benefit amount is calculated by dividing total earnings for the highest paid quarter of the base period by 26)

    12 weeks – (anywhere between 12 to 23 weeks, depending on Florida's current unemployment rate)

    $3300

    CARES Act Eligibility

    Apply for Reemployment Assistance and employment negatively impacted as a result of COVID-19

    Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) eligibility

    • Any individual eligible under Florida law for Reemployment Assistance.
    • Benefit available for weeks claimed March 29, 2020 – July 31, 2020 in addition to the funds owed under Florida law to individuals. 

     

    $600

    12 weeks

    3/29 – 7/25

    $7200

    Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) eligibility

    • An additional 13 weeks of benefits added to the end of state Reemployment Assistance benefits, in addition to the FPUC funding.

     

    $275

    + 13 weeks after state benefit period

    $3,575

  • Will I be eligible for the $600 Cares Act supplemental benefit?

    Employees who are furloughed full time without pay, should be able to receive $600 per week until July 25, 2020, under the CARES Act. This amount could be in addition to the $275 per week of state unemployment benefits, for a potential total weekly benefit of $875.00.  The final determination as to eligibility for unemployment compensation and the exact amount of the weekly benefit will be determined by the State of Florida. You can find more information at https://floridajobs.org/cares-act.

Furlough Benefits Information

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  • How does a furlough affect University benefits?

    All benefit-eligible furloughed staff would retain their current benefits provided by the University as follows:

    • Employees who opt to use their accrued vacation and floating holidays rather than be placed on a furlough, will continue to pay their portion of health insurance premiums through regular payroll deductions for medical, dental and any voluntary benefits they have elected. Employees in paid status may continue to make contributions to the 403(b) retirement plan and flexible spending accounts.
    • For periods of unpaid furloughs, whether full or intermittent, the University will pay both the employee and the employer pro rata portion of the current level of medical and dental insurance premiums and will continue basic life and accidental death & dismemberment insurance, as well as long-term disability.
    • For all other voluntary benefits, including supplemental life insurance, short-term disability, vision, long-term care, flexible spending accounts, and legal benefits, the University will not maintain these benefit coverages during the period of unpaid furlough. You will be required to pay for these other voluntary benefits on a monthly basis in order to maintain the benefits active during your furlough period.

  • How will I pay for voluntary benefits during furlough?

    Employees will receive instructions on how to pay for voluntary benefits within 30 days of being placed on furlough. The instructions will be mailed to their home address as listed in Workday.  The employee will be required to make payments directly to WageWorks, our third party vendor for benefits continuation, during their unpaid furlough period.

  • What about tuition benefits?

    Tuition remission benefits remain unaffected during the furlough period.

  • Can I use my sick time balance to cover any portion of the furlough period? Can sick time be used after vacation/floating holiday accruals have been exhausted?

    No. Sick time can only be used to cover an employee’s absence from work for an employee’s illness or used for medical appointments for the employee or immediate family members. If an employee is on a furlough, the employee is not at work or performing work.

Work Expectations

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Impact of Furlough

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  • What if I am furloughed while on an approved leave (such as FMLA, personal leave, etc.)?

    If an employee is furloughed while on an approved leave of absence, the approved leave ends immediately and the employee is placed on furlough instead. Furlough days will not count towards your leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave entitlement.

  • What happens if I need to go on a FMLA protected leave while I am furloughed?

    Employees on furlough are still eligible for protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on the same terms and conditions as non-furloughed employees. However, furlough days will not be counted against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement and the use of sick time during a furlough is restricted. An employee’s request for FMLA leave will not be used as a reason to select an employee for furlough.

  • If I am injured while on furlough will I be eligible for workers compensation?

    If you are on a full furlough, you are not eligible for workers compensation coverage because you are not working. Workers compensation benefits are only paid to employees if they are injured while performing their job duties. If you are on an intermittent furlough, you will be eligible for workers compensation for a work-related injury or illness you incur during your work hours.

  • How will the furlough impact my service date with the University?

    There will be no impact to your service date with the University. The furlough will continue to count as years of service used in the calculation of vacation accruals and long service awards.

COVID-19 Employee Related FAQs

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