Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | September 2, 2010

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says state workers are subject to mandatory furlough due to budget mess in Frankfort.

House Bill 1, passed during the 2010 Extraordinary Session of the Kentucky General Assembly, provided the specific authority for the furlough of state employees.  House Bill 1 also required the Personnel Cabinet Secretary to promulgate an Administrative Regulation to implement furloughs, which can be found at 101 KAR 5:015. House Bill 1 grants authority to the administration for the furlough of state employees during the 2011 fiscal year (July 2010-June 2011) and 2012 fiscal year (July 2011-June 2012).

Cabinets and independent agencies are encouraged, when possible, to work with employees’ schedules and be as flexible as possible.  However, the necessary oversight of furloughs and the continued operation of public services will likely require that these days may need to be assigned by management.  While one goal is to make this process the least burdensome to employees as possible, employees do not have the right to choose furlough days.

An employee who has already been furloughed the maximum amount of time cannot be required to have any additional furlough time because they have either voluntarily or involuntarily been transferred to another department, cabinet or agency.  These situations will need to be addressed individually.  Please contact Mary Elizabeth Harrod, Director, Division of Employee Management, at (502) 564-6464 or MaryE.Harrod@ky.gov if this situation arises.

Based upon the limitations set forth by the General Assembly an employee will be eligible to recover unemployment benefits. All wages earned will be considered during the week in which the furlough day occurs. Wages earned will be deducted dollar for dollar from any benefit amount. This will most likely prevent you from being eligible. However, specific information related to unemployment benefits is available on the Office of Employment and Training (OET) website at www.oet.ky.gov

All state executive branch merit and non-merit employees, including the Governor and all cabinet secretaries, will be furloughed.   This does not apply to employees of the legislative or judicial branch, universities, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) or school districts

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