EMAIL #19 - Salaried Employee Furlough FAQ
Below are frequently asked questions and answers about furloughs for salaried employees. These questions and answers will help those that will be on a furlough understand how they work and what can and cannot be done while on a furlough. Additionally, we have included information from the State of Ohio and the State of Michigan on how to apply for unemployment if furloughed workers choose to do so.
Question #1 – What does it mean to be furloughed?
A furlough is a mandatory, temporary leave from work that is not paid and is for a set period of time. In our case, all salaried employees have been furloughed for a minimum of two to three weeks beginning the week of April 12th through June 5th.
Question #2 – Am I paid while on furlough?
Question #3 – Can I use PTO while on furlough if I have it?
Yes. If you have PTO, you may use it. If you use PTO, then you do not qualify for unemployment since you will have been paid your full weekly salary. If you do choose to use PTO as a salaried employee, per the FLSA, you are able to engage in work if you choose to since you will have be paid your full salary.
Question #4 – Can I work while on furlough?
No. Furloughed salaried employees must not do any work on behalf of the Company whatsoever. Well-meaning employees are not to engage in activities that may inadvertently trigger the “no work rule” as mandated by the Act.
Question #5 – Can I apply for unemployment while on furlough?
Yes. In the State of Ohio to maximize state and federal unemployment subsidies during a furlough you can file an application online at unemployment.ohio.gov or by phone at 877-OHIO-JOB (1-877- 644-6562). To speed up the process, use the following mass layoff & shutdown number when applying – 2000180. If you need help applying, call the Bilstein Assistance Team at 513-301- 2111 and a member of the HR staff will call you back or come into the HR lobby, Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 and a member of the staff will help you apply on-line using one of the lobby computers.
If working in Michigan, refer to the attached fact sheet on the proper way to apply quickly. Under the federal CARES Act, individuals who are eligible for unemployment benefits will receive an extra $600 weekly benefit for all weeks of unemployment between April 5, 2020 and July 31, 2020. This is in addition to the amount the individual otherwise would be entitled to receive under State law. The State of Ohio and Michigan are both still setting up their systems to apply this payment. Once established, they will pay anyone that has applied and qualified for unemployment, during this time period, retroactively.
Question #6 – If I know I am furloughed later in the month can I file now?
No. Unemployment benefits are paid on a weekly basis. The State of Ohio only allows you to apply after the week you were furloughed. You may register with the State during your furlough week but not file for unemployment until the Sunday after your furloughed weekPlease note that you must apply for unemployment each week you are furloughed. During the application process, you will be assigned a PIN number. You must provide that PIN number, as identification, each time you apply after your initial unemployment application. Please retain this number.
Question #7 – Can I go into the negative on my PTO?
No. The option to go 40 hours negative on your PTO is no longer an option for any employee.
Question #8 – Do I have benefit coverage during while on furlough?
Yes. Furloughed employees retain access to all health and life insurance during the furlough.
Question #9 – How will my medical premiums be paid while on furlough?
For those that are out one week of a bi-weekly payroll period, the employee portion of the premium will be collected within that pay period. For those that are out over successive weeks, the employee portion of the premium will be deducted in an ensuing pay period, once you return to work.
If you have any questions that have not been answered on this page, please email questions here and someone from Leadership and/or HR will respond.The State of Ohio only allows you to apply after the week you were furloughed. You may register with the State during your furlough week but not file for unemployment until the Sunday after your furloughed week.