FAQ - Budget

Budget

When can I take the furlough?

Employees will work with their managers to choose the unpaid days. All 5 days must be taken between November 1, 2020 and April 9, 2021. They do not have to be taken consecutively. Employees can take any “paid” workday, including holidays and the holiday break week, as a furlough day. During the 5 unpaid days, employees will not work in any capacity.

What is the impact on my paycheck?

The reduction in compensation will appear in employee paychecks (biweekly or monthly) over a two-month period in January and February 2021. The amount will be equally spread across each pay period. There will not be a reduction in November or December 2020 paychecks. This is a temporary measure. It does not reflect a permanent salary reduction. Employees will receive a personal notification outlining this short-term adjustment to their compensation for the unpaid days in FY 2021. The 5 unpaid days represent approximately 2% of an employee’s base annual salary. The 5 unpaid days do not accrue and must be accounted for in full. For example, if an employee leaves American University during this period, the remaining unpaid days will be deducted in the employee’s paycheck before their departure.

Employees earning $40,000 per year or less as of June 19, 2020 (the initial announcement of the furlough) will not be subject to the furlough. The June effective date is to protect any employees who previously earned $40,000 per year or less but because of merit increases moved above the threshold.

Additional guidance will be forthcoming for H1-B eligible employees, term faculty, employees fully funded by external grants, individuals with early retirement contracts, and certain other categories.

How will the university/departments/managers keep key functions operating?

Departments and managers will ensure coverage of mission critical work and address any emergencies that may require an employee to work on an unpaid day. Managers will collect the preferred days from each employee, assess overall coverage in their department, and work with individual employees to address any gaps that may arise.

What happens if I have to work during the furlough?

Departments and managers will ensure coverage of mission critical work and address any emergencies that may require an employee to work on an unpaid day. If such an emergency arises, arrangements will be made for the employee to take the unpaid day at another time. Employees may contact employeerelations@american.edu if situations arise where they may feel obligated or pressured to work on an unpaid day without an emergency situation.

Will there be another furlough?

At this time, we are not instituting a second university-wide furlough. Depending on evolving conditions, an additional furlough could be needed, but no decisions have been made.