What is a furlough?

A furlough is the placing of an employee in a temporary non-duty, non-pay status because of lack of work or funds, or other non-disciplinary reasons. There are two types of furloughs:

  • a “save money” furlough - a planned event designed to absorb reductions brought about by reduced funding, lack of work, or other event; and,
  • a “shutdown” furlough – an unplanned event used during emergencies (e.g., severe or hazardous conditions, pandemic, disruption of public services, etc.) when the organization must close and non-emergency personnel must be placed in a non-duty, non-pay status.

A chief judge or designated unit executive may authorize a furlough for non-emergency personnel. It is important to remember that furloughs have a permanent effect on employees’ earnings in that once employees are placed in a non-pay status, those earnings are lost. Additionally, a furlough affects employee benefits in the same manner as leave-without-pay. See the FAQ and Fact Sheet, “Effects of Extended Leave without Pay” for more information.