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Furloughs at Fermilab

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Latest Furlough Questions & Answers

Answers to questions (posted on January 31, 2008)

Have a question about the furlough?
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General

For those Fermilab employees who are custodians of U.S. Government property, is it necessary to make any arrangements to transfer the custodianship of this property to another employee before the beginning of the furlough?

Likewise, for those Fermilab employees who have a property pass to take U.S. Government property (such as a laptop) off site, does this property pass remain valid during the furlough period?

A Fermilab Property Pass remains valid until the expiration date of the Property Pass, including any furlough that may occur prior to the expiration date.

If it comes to layoffs, will the lab allow someone who has been here for 20+ years the option to retire as opposed to taking the layoff?

An employee who is retirement eligible may initiate the retirement process at anytime, even if it occurs after receiving a layoff notice. Please contact the Benefits office at x4362 or x4361 and view http://wdrs.fnal.gov/benefits/index.html for more information.

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Furlough Period

I appreciate the amount of flexibility there is in the furlough policy and the amount of work that must have gone into researching possibilities. Regarding taking a furlough on Mar. 31 - Apr. 4, you state:

"This policy is to preserve the two-month ‘chunks’ of the furlough period, to be fair to all employees should additional funding permit furloughs to end."

If I were allowed to take my furlough at that time, it seems the two month chunk would be preserved and at most I risk taking an extra furlough day on Mar 31 in the unlikely event that the Apr-May furlough is canceled during that 24 hr period on Mar 31. Could the policy for the excluded weeks period please be reconsidered? Or don't I understand your answer and could you explain it completely?

The furlough periods will remain in two-calendar month increments. If you find that you have a particular need to take time off during a period that you are not eligible to take furlough, this would be an ideal time to use vacation that you will be required to use by September 21, 2008.

It will be nearly impossible to have an effective shutdown in September since half the people will be gone, unless everyone is gone in August, and that would make it nearly impossible to keep the machine running. Wouldn't it make more sense to start the shutdown Oct. 1 when the furloughs and forced vacations are complete?

We appreciate your thoughts and will keep them in mind during our shutdown planning. Our goal is to establish and announce the shutdown date as soon as we can, hopefully within the next month, so that supervisors and staff can prepare.

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Pay and Deductions from Pay

In your FAQ, I think I found a typo. The first question in the

payroll deduction section says, "... the hourly rate for an employee with an annual rate of $42,072 is $22.15. The employee would receive a pay deduction of $886 ($22.15 x 40 hours) for that month."

Those numbers don't work out.

Thank you for pointing out the typo. Yes, the annual rate should read “$46,072” to get the calculation of an “hourly” rate of $22.15 and pay deduction of $886.

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Benefits

Just wanted to verify: if I see a doctor or have any medical business on a day that I am on furlough, I will be covered the same as when I am not on furlough.

Yes, you will have medical coverage on furlough days the same as when you are not on furlough.

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H1-B Visa Holders

I’ve heard that the furlough policy for H1-B visa holders was updated. Where can I find the information?

Correct. The policy statement, updated on Jan. 31, 2008, can be found online.

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last modified 01/31/2008   email Fermilab at Work
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