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More specific information can be found in the furlough notice sent via email on Friday, May 1, 2020.

  1. Definition of furlough vs. layoff? 
    A furlough is an unpaid, temporary leave from work, but employee benefits are generally maintained. A layoff is a permanent termination of employment and employee benefits would cease. Employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits in either scenario. At this time the Union is implementing a furlough; however, based on the future economic health of the Union, additional options may be considered. 

  2. The Union is classifying this furlough as an emergency furlough. What is an emergency furlough?
    An emergency furlough occurs if there is an immediate or imminent lack of funding to continue operations or any emergency that results in an unanticipated interruption of funding.  

  3. Why is the Union selecting a furlough?
    The emergency furlough is due specifically to the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in no revenue or no work to preserve the fiscal stability of the Union. Because of this unexpected, unfortunate circumstance, there is very little lead time for notification.  

  4. Who decides which staff members will be furloughed?
    The executive director with the support of Union Corporation Board (UCB) and university administration makes the determination of staff furloughs.

  5. Who is being furloughed?
    Employees who work in areas where there is either no revenue or no work to preserve the stability of the Union will be furloughed. Individual employees will be notified if they are being furloughed.  

  6. How will I be notified that I am being furloughed?
    Employees will receive a call by members of Union leadership. Notification will also be sent via email. 

  7. Can I choose to report to work during furlough?
    No. Employees could be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination if work is attempted during furlough.

  8. If I am exempt (salaried) can I perform work during the furlough?
    An employee who received furlough notification cannot work whether salaried or hourly during the furlough period. An employee cannot volunteer to work for the university during the furlough period. There is no exception to this rule.  

  9. Can my furlough status be changed?
    Yes. There are several different scenarios but for now, two to consider are:

    1. You may be called back to work early due to the necessity of your position. If it is determined your position is needed back before the furlough ends, you will need to report to work when requested. 

    2. Your furlough may be extended. 

  10. How will I know when I am supposed to come back to work?
    Employees will receive a call by their supervisor or a member of Union leadership. Notification will also be sent via email.

  11. Will my job be available after July 31?
    A furlough means the Union generally anticipates you will return to work at some point. The situation and subsequent actions necessary are very fluid. Union leadership continues to work closely with the university to determine the best course forward.

  12. Can I get personal items from my workspace?
    Not currently. When the Union reopens, employees will be allowed back in the building.

  13. Who can I contact for more information? 
    Employees can contact Cindy Diederich at 785-532-6577 or cdiederich@k-state.edu.

  1. Do I receive pay while I’m on furlough?
    No. Employees are not paid during a furlough.

  2. If I received furlough notification, when will I receive my last check?
    The last paycheck during the furlough will be May 29, 2020. Because the May 29 paycheck is the third pay period of the month, there is no leave accrual and no benefit deductions are withheld.

  3. Can I file for unemployment benefits?
    You may be eligible for unemployment benefits under these circumstances. Union Human Resources is notifying the Kansas Department of Labor (DOL) regarding your furloughed status. For the DOL to determine your eligibility for benefits and for you to file weekly claims and meet other unemployment reporting requirements, you must contact the Kansas DOL. You can call the DOL’s Unemployment Contact Center at 800-292-6333 or go to getkansasbenefits.gov/Home.aspx.  Individuals who are eligible for unemployment benefits will have the one-week waiting period waived and receive an additional $600 per week through July 31, 2020 through federal legislation. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly extended unemployment benefits from the normal sixteen (16) week period to twenty-six (26) weeks.

  4. Can I work someplace else during furlough?
    Yes, if you comply with existing ethics and other Union requirements for outside employment. While on furlough, the employee remains an employee of Union and therefore is expected to report to work when requested. Before accepting outside employment (if not choosing to resign) you should consult the Human Resource Office.

  5. Does that affect my unemployment? 
    Potentially. You would need to contact the Kansas Department of Labor because each employee situation is different.

  6. Can I use my leave balances to get paid? 
    No. A furlough is mandatory leave without pay; therefore, employees cannot use accrued or earned leave.

  7. Will I accrue leave during the furlough period?
    Yes. Employees will continue to accrue vacation and sick leave while placed on furlough.

  8. Will I be paid for if a holiday occurs during the furlough period?
    Furloughed employees will not receive pay for a holiday that occurs during the furlough.

  9. What about my health insurance and other benefits?
    Your benefits will continue based on the information outlined in your furlough notice. 

  10. Do I have to pay for my insurance premiums?
    You are responsible to pay the employee’s portion of your monthly premiums. To do this, the Union must receive payment no later than ten (10) business days prior to the start of each month you are furloughed. (It is important to note the Union’s access to postal mail is delayed due to reduction to essential-only staff). The deadline for premium payments is May 15 (for June coverage), June 17 (for July coverage), and July 20 (for August coverage).

    Failure to receive your payment by the monthly deadline will result in the termination of your insurance coverage for the duration of your furlough. As an example: If the Union does not receive your premium by May 15, your insurance will terminate effective May 31 and cannot be reinstated until you are called back to work. Exceptions cannot be made. Payments may be made by check or money order, payable to the K-State Student Union.  

    Monthly premium payments may be mailed to: 
    K-State Student Union
    Attn. Business Services
    918 N. 17th Street
    Manhattan, KS 66506

  11. What about my retirement account matching funds?
    Contributions to retirement savings plans are only made while you are being paid. No contributions, by you or the Union, will be made while you are on furlough.

  12. Can I take funds out of my retirement account?
    The CARES Act temporarily waives penalties and withholding for coronavirus distributions. To find out more regarding access to your 403(b) retirement funds due to COVID-19, contact TIAA financial consultant Marcus Coleman at 785-856-4803 or marcus.coleman@tiaa.org. You can also reach out the QPA financial consultant Mark Kipp at 913-491-6226 or mkipp@qualifiedplanadvisors.com.  

  13. Can I proceed with retirement plans?
    This may be an option. Please contact Cindy Diederich at 785-532-6577.

  14. Can I still access the employee assistance program (EAP)?
    Yes. New Directions Behavioral Health, the Union’s EAP provider offers financial and mental health counseling, along with other resources at no cost to employees. You may reach out to NDBH at eap.ndbh.com; company code: unionksu or by phone at 800-624-5544. 

  15. Does a furlough affect my length of service?
    No. Your length of service calculation will not be impacted due to a furlough. 

  16. What if I am on approved leave (including maternity) when I am supposed to be furloughed?
    If you have been preapproved for leave for a period that falls within the furlough, you will be placed on leave without pay during the furlough just like all other employees who are furloughed. The leave for which you were preapproved will not be used and will not be deducted from your leave balance.

  17. How does that affect my FMLA?
    Employees who are off work due to qualifying FMLA circumstances may be subject to the furlough. Any paid time off must be canceled and the employee will be placed in furlough status. Any days of scheduled FMLA leave are documented as furlough days and leave without pay. No days associated with the furlough period will be counted against the employee’s 12-week FMLA leave entitlement.. 

  18. What if I'm already on some type of extended leave?
    Regardless of whether you were accessing accrued leave prior to the furlough, during the furlough you are on unpaid leave.

Union employees are expected to adhere to the university's Principles of Community.

Union Employee Policies & Procedures Manual

Contact

Union Human Resources
Email: 
unionhr@k-state.edu
Phone: 785-532-6577
Office: 304 K-State Student Union