Impact of Furloughs on International Employees
International employees (those who are not U.S. citizens [USC] or Lawful Permanent Residents [LPR]) at UW-Madison are affected by the furloughs in different ways, depending on their immigration status and the type of position they hold (Unclassified, Classified Exempt, Classified Non-exempt). The following is a summary of the various statuses and how employees holding that status are affected.
F-1 and J-1 international students who are enrolled at the University and hold a student appointment (Teaching Assistants, Resident Assistants, PAs, Graduate Assistants, and Student Hourly employees) are exempt from the furloughs. Like USC or LPR students, they will not be expected to take furlough days and their pay will not be reduced.
F-1 students on Optional Practical Training or Curricular Practical Training, and J-1 students on Academic Training are expected to take furlough days and their pay will be reduced in accordance with the type of position they hold and the percent appointment.
J-1 scholars who are receiving a UW-Madison salary are expected to take furlough days and their pay will be reduced in accordance with the type of position they hold and the percent appointment. J-1 scholars who hold an Honorary Fellow appointment are not affected since they do not receive any UW-Madison salary.
O-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability and TN Trade NAFTA employees are expected to take furlough days and their pay will be reduced in accordance with the type of position they hold and the percent appointment.
Employees who are working with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) are expected to take furlough days and their pay will be reduced in accordance with the type of position they hold and the percent appointment. This includes J-2 dependents, Adjustment of Status applicants who are using their EAD for employment, employees who have been granted Temporary Protected Status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and some asylees and refugees who have not yet been granted LPR status.
H-1Bs and E-3s are not affected by the furloughs because of the need for the University to meet the terms and conditions of the Labor Condition Application (LCA) that underlies their H-1B and E-3 status.
The University will be closed (exceptions will be made for critical services such as patient care, animal care, police, power plant, and housing staff) on 4 designated furlough days during each of the next two years. H-1Bs and E-3s will be expected to use vacation time on those days or make suitable arrangements with their supervisors to work on those days or make up that time.
If an employee changes immigration status either to or from H-1B or E-3 status, the impact of the furloughs will change in accordance with the new status.
Furlough Obligation for Employees Entering H-1B or E-3 Status
We have received a number of questions regarding how to address the furlough obligations of employees who transition into H-1B or E-3 status, and therefore become exempt from the furlough implementation program. It’s important to remember that for purposes of the furlough implementation we’ve been directed to address each instance of employment as a separate case; with this in mind, an employee entering H-1B or E-3 status will still be subject to a furlough obligation commensurate to that period of the State’s fiscal year where they were not in H-1B or E-3 status.
Take the following case: an employee is non-instructional academic staff (furlough category 2), and enters H-1B or E-3 status on January 1st, 2010. In this instance, the employee would have spent exactly one half of the State’s fiscal year (which runs from July 1st to June 30th) as subject to furlough. Their furlough obligation would be 4 days (50% of the 8 days required by the State over the fiscal year), and these days would need to be taken prior to January 1st. Two of these days would be the mandatory furlough days of November 27th and December 30th; the other two days could be taken at the employee’s discretion pending the approval of their supervisor.
Please keep this in mind if you have staff members who are applying for H-1B or E-3 status. You will want to make sure that they understand their furlough obligation, and have made plans to use their furlough time prior to entering H-1B or E-3 status.
For additional information on how the furloughs affect the University, UW System Administration has a web site dedicated to the furloughs: http://www.uwsa.edu/furloughs/. General questions about furloughs can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If this does not answer your questions about a specific situation or international employee, please contact either Deborah Ahlstedt or Jennie Taylor at IFSS: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.