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Human Resources Department

Engineers and Scientists of California (ESC)

2019 - 2023 ESCMemorandum of Understanding:   Article 21: Unpaid Furlough Program

Engineers & Scientists of California

Effective 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2018, all provisions of Article 21 shall cease to be in effect and the Unpaid Furlough Program shall cease to exist.

The last payroll deduction will be taken on the January 9, 2019 pay date. Effective January 1, 2019, the County will cease to make deductions from ESC represented employees’ paychecks designated for the Unpaid Furlough Program.

This provision will be administered as follows:

All ESC represented employees will be credited with a one-time designation of twenty-four (24) floating holiday hours in the first pay period following January 1, 2019, pro-rated based on allocated FTE for part-time employees.

  1. Employees who have not taken any FY 2018/2019 UFP hours as of January 1, 2019 will have 23.14 UFP hours and twenty-four (24) one-time floating holiday hours to use by June 17, 2019, pro-rated based on allocated FTE for part-time employees.
  2. Employees who have taken less than 23.14 FY 2018/2019 UFP hours as of January 1, 2019, will be able to use up to a total of 23.14 FY 2018/2019 UFP hours by June 17, 2019 and will also have twenty-four (24) one-time floating holiday hours to use by June 17, 2019, pro-rated based on allocated FTE for part-time employees. 
  3. Employees who have taken more than 23.14 FY 2018/2019 UFP hours by January 1, 2019, will have the number of hours over 23.14 deducted from the twenty-four (24) one-time floating holiday hours, pro-rated based on allocated FTE for part-time employees, and will be able to take the remaining floating holiday hours by June 17, 2019. 

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21.1 Purpose

ESC and the County have agreed to an Unpaid Furlough Program (UFP) to enable ESC represented employees to achieve the County’s stated cost reduction goals for all County employees. The UFP will consist of unpaid time off during each fiscal year as shown in the chart below for each full-time employee and pro-rated based on FTE for part-time employees.

Employees who are exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act will be considered non-exempt during the week in which they take an UFP day off, and their pay is reduced. Department Heads are responsible for ensuring no overtime is incurred during this time.

Fiscal Year (FY)Hours of FurloughApprox. Deduction per Pay Period*
FY 13/14*31 hours unpaid furlough3.1%
FY 14/1548 hours unpaid furlough2.3%
FY 15/16
(Status Quo)
44.5 hours unpaid furlough2.13%

* Based on approximately 1,000 work hours remaining in FY 13/14 at ratification; full fiscal years based on 2,087 hours. FY 13/14 furlough hours reduced to 31 by crediting ESC with FY 13/14 savings from suspension of floating holiday hours and holiday eve hours.

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21.2 Scheduling Unpaid Furlough Days

Unpaid furlough days are designed to be flexible to allow the Department Head the ability to determine the best option for obtaining the salary savings with minimal disruption to the department’s operations while not generating overtime to cover for UFP hours taken.

Options for scheduling UFP days include, but are not limited to any combination of the following:

  • Based on reduced service demands, the Department Head schedules UFP days so that some or all of the employees of the department are on UFP days simultaneously. 
  • The Department Head sets a schedule for UFP days.
  • UFP days are scheduled similar to vacation days at the employee’s request with approval from their supervisor.

UFP will be used in increments of the length of an employee’s regular shifts or not less than 1 hour increments, and scheduled with the approval of their supervisor. UFP shall be used before any vacation or compensatory time off, until all UFP hours have been exhausted. For employees with greater than 270 hours of accrued vacation as of Dec. 18, 2013, vacation hours may be used before UFP hours through Feb. 17, 2014.

Except as otherwise provided in this Article, an employee shall use all UFP days for a fiscal year before any other paid or unpaid leave.

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21.3 Impact of UFP Days on Salary and Benefits

UFP shall be considered time in paid status. UFP shall apply toward time in service for retirement, completion of probation, eligibility for merit increases and toward seniority.

Base salary shown on the salary schedule shall not be adjusted for UFP purposes. Instead, a “deduction” to salary will be the method used to generate UFP savings. County and employee retirement contributions are not affected by the UFP Program. Also, computations used for final compensation for employees retiring are not affected by the UFP Program.

Since the UFP pay reduction is spread out during multiple pay periods, resulting in employees being in a paid status for all hours including the UFP, the hourly cash allowance is not impacted and will be paid for all hours in a paid status. Hours not in a paid status (unpaid and non-UFP hours) shall be treated the same as current practices.

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21.4 Changes to Scheduled UFP Time

In the event an employee is required to work on a previously scheduled UFP day, shift hours worked will be considered regular hours worked and the employee will be rescheduled for a future UFP day.

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21.5 Pay Deductions ― Amortization

Deductions in pay for all UFP hours shall be amortized over multiple pay periods in the corresponding fiscal year and will be determined by the number of pay periods remaining after adoption. The deduction each pay period will allow for payment of the employee consistently throughout the year. Each participating employee shall receive their normal paycheck, less the UFP deduction. UFP shall be prorated for part-time employees based upon their FTE (full-time equivalent).

Amortized UFP hours shall continue to apply to periods of vacation, holiday, compensatory time off, or sick leave hours taken.

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21.6 UFP Accounts and Balances

The Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector / Payroll will create an accrual bank for UFP accumulated each pay period. UFP taken will be subtracted each pay period from employee’s UFP balance.

It is the Department’s responsibility to monitor, authorize and schedule UFP days to ensure employees are given the opportunity to take the full number of UFP hours assigned per fiscal year, and that employees do not exceed the full number of UFP hours assigned per fiscal year through the last full pay period of the corresponding fiscal year. Similarly, employees are responsible for monitoring and requesting UFP days, to assure that they take the required hours of UFP time during each fiscal year.

Except under extraordinary circumstances, with prior approval of the appointing authority, all employees shall use the required hours of UFP time during each fiscal year. With prior approval, at the close of the fiscal year any balance in the UFP accumulated account UFP hours owed by the employee to the County will remain in the employee’s account to be taken during following fiscal year until depleted. Employees must use any accumulated UFP prior to using vacation, or compensatory time off or unpaid leave.

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21.7 UFP Deduction ― New Employees

New full-time and part time employees hired after adoption of the UFP program will have the same amortized and/or pro-rated deduction as all other employees. New employees shall be required to take a prorated number of UFP hours during the fiscal year, to be determined based on their date of hire.

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21.8 UFP ― Terminating and Transferring Employees

Employees who separate from County service shall be paid for any accumulated UFP hours not taken at their current rate of pay. If a negative balance exists in the UFP accrual bank, employees shall have an amount deducted from their final paycheck equal to the negative balance of hours times their current base hourly rate of pay.

Employees who transfer to a bargaining unit that is not participating in an UFP program shall be required to use the hours accumulated prior to the last pay period of the applicable fiscal year.

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21.9 Employees Laid Off – Eligible for Severance

If an employee receives a layoff notice, and is eligible for a severance period that includes scheduled floating UFP days, the time will not be charged to UFP, vacation, sick leave, or CTO. Any UFP accumulated but unused balances will be paid to the employee at time of lay off.

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21.10 Employees With Periods of Leave Without Pay (LWOP)

Employees requesting LWOP during the applicable fiscal year must exhaust all UFP remaining for the fiscal year prior to going into an LWOP unpaid status. Employees returning to paid status will have the same UFP deduction taken as regular employees (pro-rated based on FTE). Each time the employee goes on leave, any UFP accumulated balances will be depleted so there is a zero (0) balance before any other paid or unpaid leave is used.

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21.11 Workers Compensation Leave

UFP provisions do not apply to employees on Worker’s Compensation leave due to an industrial illness or injury.

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21.12 Long Term Disability

Earnings for employees on Long Term Disability will be based on regular salary and will not be reduced by the amounts deducted for UFP.

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