A. A furlough is normally a Reduction-In-Force action and therefore Reduction-In-Force procedures are followed. An employee may be furloughed when it is intended to recall the individual to duty within one year in the position from which furloughed. Furlough is not used unless it seems certain that the Reduction-In-Force is a temporary condition and that the furloughed employee will be returned to duty. When possibility of recall within one year is doubtful, the separation (termination) procedures under Reduction-In-Force should be followed. Although furlough is not an absolute commitment of recall, it may cause serious employee relations problems if used in the absence of very strong likelihood of recall to duty.
B. Order of Furlough – A competing employee in Reduction-In-Force may not be separated while an employee with lower retention standing in this individual’s layoff unit is on furlough from the same class. The separation of a furloughed employee is a new Reduction-In-Force action for the furloughed employee and the applicable procedures must be followed.
1. Maximum Length of Furlough – Furlough may not extend more than one year. The one-year limit on furlough is imposed because furlough results in unearned benefits such as additional service credit for Reduction-In-Force and leave. These benefits are not considered to be in the interest of LBJ¬ASMCA when extended beyond a year. The one-year time limit begins the day after the end of the notice period.
2. Order of Recall from Furlough – when more than one employee is furloughed from the same class and layoff unit, each is recalled in the order of this individual’s retention standing, beginning with the furloughed employee with the highest standing. Recall from furlough for accepting other options, like placement in lieu of separation or furlough, is determined by the qualifications, availability and sub-group standing of the furloughed employees. Employees on furlough have rights at least equal to those that they would have had they been separated and placed on LBJ-ASMCA wide Reduction-In-Force.
3. No Recall from Furlough – If the situation changes so that furloughed employees cannot be recalled to duty, a new Reduction-In-Force notice must be issued at least 15 calendar days before separation. When a one year furlough is to end in separation, a notice is issued soon enough to give the furloughed employee at least 15 calendar days’ advance notice of separation and also soon enough to keep the furlough from exceeding the maximum length of one year.
4. No Return from Furlough – If a furloughed employee refuses or does not respond to calls to return to duty, a new Reduction-In-Force notice is not required. However, the employee’s separation is termed a separation in Reduction-In-Force and is effective on or after the specified date or return to duty.
5. Short Furlough – When it is necessary to furlough an employee for no more than 30 days because of lack of work of funds, the furlough is not a Reduction-In-Force action. In such cases, however, emergency, intermittent, temporary and probationary employees must be terminated prior to furloughing any permanent career service employees who are in the same class and layoff unit.
C. Reduction of Hours of Full-Time Employment. When due to lack of fund or curtailment of work. Reduction-In-Force procedures are contemplated, hours of work of full-time employees regardless of tenure or seniority can be reduced from 40 hours per week to a minimum of 32 hours per week in lieu of Reduction-In-Force. Annual salary shall be reduced according based upon the number of hours actually worked. The hours eliminated shall be considered non-working hours of LBJ-ASMCA for the employees concerned, and annual leave shall not be authorized or taken for such hours.
D. Reduction of hours of full-time employees is not a Reduction-In-Force action and can be administratively implemented by Chief Executive Officer. When hours of full-time employees are reduced in lieu of Reduction¬In-Force, employment will be considered full time for purposed of sick and annual leave accrual and seniority.History: Rule 06-98, eff. Mar. 3, 1999