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Voluntary Furlough Program

APSU’s Voluntary Furlough Program is a cost-saving measure in which employees voluntarily take unpaid leave, but ensures continuity of their benefits for a specific period of time. The program was identified as a Level 2 Savings option by the University's 2020-21 Financial Planning Taskforce and announced to the campus on 10/29/2020.  The program dates will run from 11/9/2020 through 06/30/2021. The University makes no assurance that requests to participate in this voluntary furlough opportunity will continue through 6/30/2021.

Employee Eligibility

Employees Covered

The APSU Voluntary Furlough Program will cover all faculty and staff, except those specifically excluded below.

Plan Exclusions and Exceptions

The following employees are excluded from the Voluntary Furlough Program:

  • Adjunct faculty hired on a course-by-course basis

  • Employees in federal or other externally funded positions if the terms of the funding prohibit the employees from participating in a voluntary furlough, or if applying the voluntary furlough to such positions will cause the University to otherwise violate or depart from the terms of the funding.

  • Employees holding H-1B Visa status

  • Student employees, to include graduate assistants

  • Temporary Help employees

Furlough Days

An employee may request a voluntary furlough of not more than 45 calendar days per fiscal year. Furlough days must be used in place of paid leave (e.g. Annual Leave, Sick Leave). The furlough days off will be unpaid and must be taken as described below according to the employee’s Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) status. The actual scheduling of furlough days off must be confirmed with and approved by the employee’s supervisor in advance of the actual days off.

  • Exempt Staff (Administrative & Professional) must take their furlough days in five consecutive full day increments within the same work week (Sunday through Saturday). Exempt staff also cannot take a 5 day voluntary furlough during a week in which a university holiday occurs. Exempt staff can take up to 2 weeks per month with an overall limit of 45 days. The FLSA exemption is negated during any week in which the employee works and takes a voluntary furlough day. Therefore, the five consecutive full day increment is required.

  • Faculty may take their furlough days either in consecutive increments or intermittently. Furlough days cannot negatively impact instructions (i.e., instructional days should generally be avoided, but if an instructional day is taken, then instructional work must be made up by the students). The Provost’s Office will provide suggested opportunities for faculty furlough days which align with the academic schedule.

  • Non-exempt Staff (Clerical & Support) employees may take their furlough days either consecutively or intermittently.

Requests and Approvals:

  • A written voluntary furlough agreement is required for participation.

  • The written agreement must be submitted and approved at least one week prior to the requested furlough period. The signed form should be submitted to humanresources@apsu.edu.

  • The hiring unit has full discretion to approve or deny the furlough request.

  • Denial of a request for voluntary furlough is not grievable.


  • Exempt and non-exempt staff will report furlough days in Self-Service on their timesheet or leave report.

  • Faculty furlough days will be reported via the voluntary furlough agreement.

  • In the unlikely event a voluntary furlough program and mandatory furlough program are implemented during the same fiscal year, furlough days taken voluntarily shall count toward furlough days required by the mandatory furlough.

Salary Payments:

  • Employees are not paid their salaries or any ongoing additional salary payments (e.g. salary supplements) while in furlough status. The reduction in salary occurs at the time the furlough is taken.

  • While on voluntary furlough in the primary job, employees who have other internal dual arrangements may continue to work on those jobs and will continue to be paid as normal for those duties.

Continuation of Benefits:

  • During the voluntary furlough period, employees are entitled to participate in the same state benefits as otherwise available.

  • For benefits which require employer and employee contributions, the university will be responsible for making both employer and employee contributions if coverage would otherwise be interrupted.

  • For benefits which require only employee contributions, the employee remains solely responsible for making those contributions.

  • An employee will continue to accrue annual and sick leave, if eligible, as if they were in a pay status.

  • An employee’s service dates and performance review date will not be adjusted due to the furlough.

Frequently Asked Questions

Employees may take up to 45 days of voluntary furlough.

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay exempt employees their entire weekly salary if the employee works at any point during the week.

The hiring unit has full discretion to approve or deny the furlough request.

Yes, under wage and hour laws, reading work emails during this time is considered work. It is expected you do not do any work at this time, nor engage in any work activities which would benefit the university. Therefore, you should not be reading or responding to your work emails while on furlough.