The content on these pages is from 2008.
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Furloughs at Fermilab

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Latest Furlough Questions & Answers

Answers to questions (posted on February 12, 2008)

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General

Given the fact that permanent employees have rolling furloughs and we are facing layoffs, how can the laboratory justify keeping contractors?

Operating Fermilab requires a mix of skills and capabilities, not all of which our employees possess at the level our operations require. We hire contractors to supply the skills and capabilities that our employees can't provide.

I am somewhat puzzled by the claim that we can claim unemployment benefits for the furlough periods. Has anyone succeeded in doing this? Does the lab budget get affected if benefits are paid? Also it seems somewhat unethical considering that there are truly unemployed people in our area.

The decision to pay unemployment benefits rests solely with the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Employees have a right under the law to collect all unemployment benefits to which they are entitled. The laboratory will not contest unemployment claims filed due to the furlough. The laboratory will only know of successful claims when we receive the billings from IDES, which lag actual benefit payments by one or more calendar quarters.

I'm looking for a clarification. The answer to the question "If you are RIFed, will you be able to retire?" on the January 24 Q&A posting makes it sound like a 'retirement qualified' person can be laid off and receive both retiree medical benefits and severance pay. Please confirm what the policy is.

If an employee chooses to retire during the period that layoffs are occurring that person will not receive severance. If the person is RIFed, the person will receive severance. In addition, if the RIFed person is eligible to retire, then that person can also receive retiree medical.

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Pay and Deductions from Pay

I read the question and answer for what to put down on your time sheet to indicate furlough time (FUW for weekly timesheets, FUR for monthly leave sheets). Would the same be done for effort reports?

Each Division's effort reporting system is different. Please check with your division/section furlough coordinator for direction on how to effort-report in your system.

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