SP 3-62a – Employee Furloughs

Colorado Community College System / System Procedure

SP 3-62a

APPROVED: February 14, 2024
EFFECTIVE: February 14, 2024

REFERENCE(S): Board Policy (BP) 3-62, Employee Furloughs


/ Joseph A. Garcia /
Joseph A. Garcia, Chancellor


This procedure applies to furloughs for all employees within the Colorado Community College System, including its Colleges (CCCS or the System).


Board Policy 3-62 authorizes the use of mandatory and/or voluntary furloughs for non-Classified employees and voluntary furloughs for Classified employees. Mandatory furloughs for Classified employees can only be approved by the Governor or General Assembly. This procedure establishes rules for implementing a furlough.


“Furlough” means an unpaid partial or full leave of absence from work.


The decision to require or offer furloughs may be made separately by the System Office and individual Colleges. The System Office and Colleges may also differentiate the manner of implementing furloughs with respect to different classes of employees. Before implementing, the System Office and Colleges shall consider other cost‐saving measures to reduce the impact of furloughs on teaching and salaries.

If the System, the System Office, or an individual College determine it is facing an actual or projected loss of funding or revenue, budget deficit, lack of work, natural disaster or other emergency, disruption to operations, or a governmental/third party directive (public health orders, stop‐work orders, etc.), a furlough plan may be implemented in accordance with the applicable provisions of this procedure. Such plan may impact all or a portion of the employees based on specified criteria or justification, which may include impacts of furlough on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A furlough plan may provide for a full furlough with no work hours for a specific period of time or a partial furlough with reduced or intermittent workdays or hours for a specific period of time. Employees will be returned to their positions and assignments upon the end of a furlough unless conditions necessitate layoffs, assignment changes, or other separations from employment.

The System Office or Colleges shall provide a furlough justification plan outlining the reasons for the furlough, employees affected, furlough schedule, and any other pertinent information.

An employee may only be furloughed during those days in which the employee is in pay status. Employees on a furlough are relieved of work duties during the period of furlough, and there is no expectation for work to continue during furloughed time. Employees on a partial furlough cannot make up the furlough time by working additional hours to be compensated at another time. An employee’s leave accrual while on furlough will not be reduced.

Mandatory Furloughs:
The following conditions apply to non-Classified employees subject to mandatory furloughs:

  • All specified employees shall be furloughed, regardless of the funding source(s) for their respective operations.
  • All similarly situated employees shall be furloughed for the same length of time.
  • Scheduling of furlough time is subject to supervisor approval, within the specific period of time identified in the furlough plan.
  • Supervisors are encouraged to approve an employee’s requested scheduling of furlough time, unless doing so would create an unreasonable disruption to the operation of the unit.
  • No form of paid leave may be substituted for furlough time.
  • For faculty, time off must be taken during contracted work days but are not to be taken during scheduled class times.
  • Employees who are on leave — including sabbaticals, FMLA, and other forms of leave — are not exempt from mandatory furlough consideration.

Voluntary Furloughs:
Prior to mandatory furloughs or layoffs, the System Office or Colleges may seek and accept volunteers for furlough. When requesting volunteers for voluntary furlough, the following conditions apply:

  • May not exceed 576 hours per fiscal year.
  • Subject to approval of the Chancellor, College President, or their designee, and upon a mutually agreed schedule with supervisors.
  • Incentives for volunteers may be provided.

Benefits During Furlough:
Employees on a mandatory or voluntary furlough will continue to be eligible for benefits in the same manner as when they are not on furlough, and any applicable employer contribution for health insurance will continue.

Consistent with normal practice for an unpaid leave of absence, employees shall pay the employee portion of insurance premiums out of pocket if placed on a full furlough or if a reduced‐hours furlough does not generate enough income to pay the employee portion from payroll deduction.

PERA contributions by both CCCS and the employee will be impacted by a furlough, as contributions are based on actual earnings.


CCCS reserves the right to change any provision or requirement of this procedure at any time and the change shall become effective immediately.