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Furlough information

In accordance with the Governor’s directive, all DOL employees will have one unpaid furlough day per week during the weeks of June 28 through July 25. Agency furlough days will be on Fridays, including our licensing services offices (LSOs).

During July, all employees, including LSO employees, will move to a Monday through Friday schedule. This will provide for a consistent implementation of furloughs throughout the agency. What this means is that our entire agency, including all of our licensing services offices, will be closed on Fridays and Saturdays in July.

We have identified the following days for agency wide furlough days:

  • Friday, July 17
  • Friday, July 24
  • Friday, August 21.
  • Friday, September 18.
  • Friday, October 16.
  • Friday, November 20.

Staff working other than a 5 day-a-week schedule (4/10s, 9/80s, 4/9s-and-a-4, etc.) will move to a 5-day, 8-hour schedule during each furlough week. This is to ensure that no more than 8 hours are deducted on a furlough day. Flexible hours for the 8-hour days will continue to be available.

Mandated furlough days must be taken on the dates specified above. They cannot be combined into a lump sum.

POLARIS workgroup

We are looking at how we may further resource the POLARIS project during this time. We are looking at possible exemptions that may help us. More information on this to come as soon as possible.

The Governor has further ordered that state employees will have one furlough day per month in August through November – we will let you know more about our implementation of these furloughs as soon as we can.

The Shared Work program

DOL received permission to implement the Shared Work program through the Employment Security Department. The Shared Work program is different than regular unemployment insurance for layoffs, and allows employees who are temporarily furloughed the right to apply for unemployment benefits.

The Federal CARES Act provides federal funding to DOL’s Shared Work program through December 26, 2020. In addition, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program provides an additional $600 a week for permanent staff who are furloughed. This additional funding is currently available through July 25.

Next steps

  • Human Resources will be providing every employee with an official furlough notification email. This email will provide essential information for you to apply for unemployment insurance. You are not able to apply for unemployment insurance benefits until AFTER the week you are furloughed.
  • Human Resources is working fast and furious on getting more information out to you about the Shared Work program, along with your furlough notification email.

Please understand it is likely that we will need to make adjustments as we continue to gather additional details about the requirements of the Governor’s directive. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through our implementation plan. We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.

Communicating with external customers

In preparation for our mandatory furlough days, the following messages may be of help to you in communicating with external customers, our residents, agency partners, etc.

Out of office email message

Our offices are closed today for a mandatory furlough day. I will be back in the office on Monday, and will be able to assist you then. Thank you for your patience during this time and I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Voice mail out of office message

You have reached (name) of the Washington Department of Licensing. Our offices are closed today for a mandatory furlough day. I will be back in the office on Monday, and will be able to assist you then. Thank you for your patience during this time and I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.