Will my work schedule be restored to what it was before the furlough? That’s the intention. However, we don’t know when the current disruption will be behind us, which means the decision will have to wait for now. There’s a possibility that the furloughs will extend longer than 90 days, and, if conditions worsen, we may see additional actions, if necessary, to protect the company. That’s worst case. Our expectation is that we’ll get through this period to gear up and support the fall back to school season, but we won’t be sure until we get there.
Will my benefits change or be suspended while I’m on furlough? Understanding the importance of medical coverage at this time, the company is ensuring that coverage for you and your family will continue without interruption. Find a complete list of questions and answers to the most commonly asked benefit questions at the bottom of this page.
Will I continue to earn PTO/Vacation while on furlough? Hourly and salaried team members will continue to earn PTO/Vacation based on your years of service and regular schedule, even for weeks while you’re on furlough.
Can I take PTO/Vacation/Sick or Floating Holidays while on furlough? No, you can’t use any PTO/Vacation/Sick or Floating Holidays while on furlough.
Will you be collecting my laptop, phone, badge, etc. while I’m on furlough? No, you’re not required to return your equipment or other items during your furlough; however, you must not perform any work for the Company during the furlough period (see answer below).
Can I still respond to emails, call and texts while on furlough? During the furlough period, you must not perform any work for the Company, including 1) reviewing and responding to emails, voice mails and/or text messages; 2) accessing and using Follett technologies to perform Follett work; 3) communicating with Follett team members, customers or vendors relating to Follett projects; and 4) performing any task relating to Follett business.
What if my company cell phone is also my personal phone? In that case you may use the phone for personal use but may not use it to respond to company texts, calls or emails.
Can I use my laptop to access any personal files I might have? Yes, but you must not perform any company work while on the laptop.
Who will be performing my work while I’m on furlough? You and your manager will review your outstanding projects and roles and responsibilities and determine a plan together.
My furlough falls over a paid company holiday. Will I get any additional compensation or a make-up day? No, if your furlough falls over the week of a paid company holiday, you will not be compensated for that holiday, and there will be no additional compensation or days off.
I’m scheduled to return from leave of absence during my furlough week. What shall I do? You will work with your manager and HR business partner to determine the best week to start the furlough and/or return to work.
Benefit FAQs for Team Members on Furlough
Will my benefits continue while on furlough or reduced hours? Yes. All benefits through Follett will continue for you and your covered dependents with no interruption in coverage. Your ID cards will continue to be active, and if you participate in the Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you may continue to use your debit card.
Will I have premium deductions for my benefits while on furlough? It depends on the specific facts relating to your temporary employment action.
For example, if you have two weeks paid, and no Furlough in the pay period, there will be no change to your premium deductions for that pay period.
However, if you have one-week unpaid Furlough, and one-week regular pay in the same pay period, your medical deduction will be reduced by 50% to a weekly premium for that pay period, and Follett will pay the other 50% for you. All other deductions will be taken out as normal.
If you have a two-week unpaid Furlough or, in other words, you don't work in the pay period, no medical deduction should be taken, and Follett will pay the medical premium for you for that pay period. Since you will not receive a paycheck, your other deductions will not be taken on that paycheck, but you will make up those missed deductions on a future paycheck.
What if I have a Life Event while on furlough or reduced hours (i.e., birth, adoption, or guardianship of a child, married, divorce)? If you experience a Life Event while on furlough or reduced hours, you have 31 days to change or enroll in coverage. You will need to log into myHR (ess.follett.com) to either add or change a dependent(s) in your benefits. You will need to provide the appropriate documentation to prove your life event.
Where can I view my benefits? You can access your benefits through myHR (ess.follett.com). If you cannot remember your username or password, please contact the HR Service Center at 877.888.7887, option 1.
Do I need to apply for COBRA? You will not be eligible for COBRA since your benefits will remain active through Follett’s coverage during your Furlough.
Can I change or drop my Medical, Dental, Vision or Healthcare FSA due to my reduced hours or furlough? No. Per IRS rules, the change in work hours is not considered a qualifying event to make changes.
Can I stop making contributions to my Health Savings Account (HSA)? Yes, you can reduce or stop your contributions to your Health Savings Account by entering a Life Event in myHR (ess.follett.com). (The HSA is the account associated with the HSA Silver and HSA Bronze Plans that you fund with pre-tax deductions.)
When can I change my Dependent Care FSA contribution? You may stop your Dependent Care FSA contribution if your daycare facility has closed by entering a Life Event in myHR (ess.follett.com). The change must be entered in myHR within 31 days of the Life Event. If the day care facility reopens during the benefit year, you may resume contributions.
Can I drop my Supplemental Life, Dependent Life or Personal Accident or Buy-Up LTD Insurance? You may drop your Supplemental Life, Dependent Life, Personal Accident or Buy-Up LTD Insurance by entering a Life Event in in myHR. If you drop this coverage, the next opportunity to re-enroll will be Open Enrollment for the 2021 calendar year. Evidence of Insurability will be required to re-enroll in Buy-Up LTD, and may be required to re-enroll for Supplemental Life, depending on the amount elected.
Can I drop my Aflac Critical Illness or Accident coverage? You may drop your current Aflac coverage by entering a Life Event in myHR (ess.follett.com). Your next opportunity to re-enroll will be Open Enrollment for the 2021 calendar year.
How do I enter a Life Event in myHR? To submit a Life Event, log into ess.follett.com, click myHR and go to Benefits > Report a Qualifying Change and click Declare an Event. Please refer to Ask HR to read more about Life Events or contact benefits at email@example.com for any additional questions.
How will my furlough or reduced hours affect my 401(k) contribution? Your 401(k) contributions and company match are based on the compensation paid each pay period. There is no impact to 401(k) matching formula at this time.
Can I reduce or change my current 401(k) contribution? You can start, change or stop your current 401(k) contribution(s) at any time during the year by contacting T. Rowe Price at 800-922-9945 or you can log onto your T. Rowe Price Account via rps.troweprice.com.
Can I take a Distribution or Suspend 401(k) Loan Payments? The recently passed C.A.R.E.S. Act will allow the following distribution and loan options for those plan participants who (1) have been diagnosed with COVID-19; (2) have a spouse or dependent who was diagnosed with COVID-19; or (3) are experiencing “adverse financial consequences” from quarantine, furlough, layoff, or reduced hours due to the coronavirus or are unable to work due to the lack of childcare.
Participants with outstanding loans may temporarily delay their loan payments through December 31, 2020.
Participants may take a distribution from their 401(k) Retirement Account, without the 10% tax penalty. The participant has the option to repay this distribution over 3 years. The participant will owe regular taxes on the amount of the distribution that is not repaid.
Please note: The C.A.R.E.S. Act was just recently passed, and all plan sponsors are waiting for the final regulations and clarification regarding the rules for the Loans and Distributions. We are working closely with T. Rowe Price and anticipate having the new procedures in place soon. To discuss these options, you may contact Benefits@follett.com or 877.888.7887, option 3.
Who do I contact if I have a question about benefits? You can email the benefits team at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit an Ask HR ticket. The benefits team is also available to answer your question by phone if you leave a message, including your associate ID and contact number at 877.888.7887, option 2.