MSU Human Resources >> Layoff-resources >> Employee Furlough Information

Employee Furlough Information

While the University struggles with operational and financial impacts of the COVID-19 health care crisis, protecting our employees’ access to health, dental and life insurance are critically important during this time. The University recently reached agreements with the following labor associations regarding furloughs:

Benefits while on furlough

If you are placed on or volunteer for furlough, the impact to your benefits will be the following:

Health and Prescription

Coverage will continue with MSU paying the employer contribution through the end of the month in which the furlough ends. Employees will be required to make any contributions as required prior to their placement on unpaid furlough.

Dental

Coverage will continue with MSU paying the employer contribution through the end of the month the furlough ends. Employees will be required to make any contributions as required prior to their placement on unpaid furlough.

Basic Life Insurance

Coverage will continue for 180 days from last day the employee is paid.

Retirement Contribution

The employer match contribution will end with the employee’s last paycheck. There will be no employer retirement contributions made while the employee is on furlough.

FTE Credits toward Retiree Health

FTE credits toward retiree health will continue while the employee is on furlough.

Voluntary Benefits (employee pays full premium through payroll deduction: Optional Life insurance; vision, other

Coverage under the existing billing arrangement (payroll deduction) will continue through the end of the month in which the furlough began. After that month, the employee will be direct billed for the premium. Direct billing of the premium may not occur automatically, please check with the voluntary benefit vendor. Continued coverage is dependent on the employee paying the direct billed premium.

Long-Term Disability (LTD)

LTD coverage ends as of last day worked.

Usage of Accruals (vacation/sick/personal)

The last day to use accruals is the last day the employee is paid. The employee cannot use accruals during furlough. Employees will not accrue leave time while on furlough however; if placed on an unpaid furlough prior to July 1, 2020, eligible employees shall receive the full allotment of personal time for fiscal year 2020-21 upon return to work or July 1, 2020, whichever is later.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Contributions to FSAs cease on the last day paid.

Educational Assistance

Funds will be extended for six months up to the limit.

Course Fee Courtesy 

The employee is eligible for course fee courtesy for the duration of furlough.

Parking Fee

The employee should check with the parking office as refunds may be available if fee was prepaid.

Annual Pay Raises

All furloughed employees are eligible to receive raises as of key date of raise based on union contract and policy. Regular raise eligibility applies including performance factors stipulated in CBAs. The raise increase will be added to the employee’s record but will not be applied to an employee’s pay rate until the employee is returned to active status.

Progression and Anniversary Pay Increase

Furloughed employees who are in employee types that are eligible for a progression or anniversary pay increase will receive the progression/anniversary pay increase. The increase will be added to the record but will not be applied to an employee’s pay rate until the employee is returned to active status.  In addition, performance must meet eligibility criteria as stipulated in in applicable CBAs.

Longevity Pay

Furloughed employees who are an employee type eligible for longevity pay and who have the minimum years of longevity will receive a payment, except if the unpaid leave is 93 days or more during the longevity year.  Unpaid furloughed days will not count towards the 93 or more unpaid days.  Those who are receiving a payment but are on furlough leave as of the date of the payment will not receive the payment until returning from furlough leave to active status.  If an employee is furloughed during the date of the longevity payment and then the employee is transitioned to lay off without return to active status, a longevity payout will be provided with the notice period payout.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the list of FAQs regarding furloughs here.

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