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Human Resources

The Office of Human Resources is dedicated to supporting the mission and goals of Furman University by delivering a wide array of programs and services to its employees. Furman’s commitment to diversity and inclusion calls for attracting and retaining a superior faculty and staff that reflects meaningful diversity and equality as embodied by both implicit values and explicit practices in all of our endeavors.

Our Human Resources staff is always ready to help whether you are seeking employment with Furman, need assistance on-boarding a new employee, have questions about retirement options or need to report an issue in confidence. Contact us at 864.294.2217 or for assistance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I am being furloughed for two weeks during the fiscal year 2021. How do I apply for unemployment benefits?

Instructions for two week furloughed employees to receive unemployment benefits can be found here.

As a manager, where can I access information about the FY21 furloughs for my employees?

If you are a manager and was unable to attend one of the sessions HR held regarding the FY21 furloughs, you may access an audio recording of the session here.

Where do I find information regarding my furlough?


Employee Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why furlough employees?

Everyone’s position at Furman is valuable and contributes to its success and the success of its students.  However, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significantly diminished workloads over the summer and created financial challenges that require the university to implement a number of cost-saving measures, including furloughs. 

What is a mandatory furlough?

A furlough is the placement of an employee in a temporary leave-without-pay status for a specified number of days within a specified time frame. A furlough is not a layoff or a reduction in workforce.

Is a furlough considered a break in service?

The employee is in a non-pay, non-duty status for time on furlough, but this will not be considered a break in service.

May an employee volunteer to do his or her job on a non-pay basis during a furlough period?

No. According to federal law, an employee may not volunteer his or her services during the furlough. 

Will the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) continue to operate during a furlough?

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will continue to operate during the furlough, and the furloughed employees may benefit from counseling assistance and other services provided during this time. 

How will the furlough program affect my full-time or part-time status?

Furlough days will not affect full-time or part-time employment status. 

Will I lose vacation time or sick time due to the furlough?

No. Existing vacation and sick leave balances will not be affected. Employees will also continue to accrue vacation and sick time at the normal accrual rate during the furlough period. For hourly employees, this accrual will be based on a normally scheduled work week.  Vacation and sick time accrued while on furlough will be added to your accrual balances when you return back to work. 

Can I use vacation time, sick time, or other paid time off to receive pay during my furlough?

No. Furloughed employees will not receive vacation, sick, holiday or other time-off pay during the furlough period. 

Will I receive holiday pay for any holidays that occur during my furlough?

No. Furloughed employees will not receive vacation, sick, holiday or other time-off pay during the furlough period. 

If I end my employment with the university during or in the year following my furlough, will I still be paid out for accrued vacation time according to university policy?

Yes. The furlough plan does not affect vacation payout on separation from employment. 

What is the impact of my required furlough if I am on, or have been approved to take, Family and Medical Leave during the furlough period?

Furlough days will not be counted against 12‑week Family and Medical Leave. However, employees will not be allowed to use any form of paid leave during the furlough, even if such use was previously approved. Employees should talk with the Office of Human Resources for more details.

Are employees who are injured while on furlough covered under workers’ compensation?

No. Workers’ compensation is paid to employees only if they are injured while performing their duties. An employee who is currently receiving workers’ compensation payments will, however, continue to receive workers’ compensation payments during a furlough.

What happens to my benefits while I am furloughed?

All furloughed employees will retain their current medical, dental, vision, basic life, and disability insurance and Furman will continue to pay the employer portion of these benefits.  Furman will also make payments to employees to help cover the employee portion of medical insurance and dependent life insurance for those employees who are part of the extended summer furlough that is at least four weeks of furlough time or longer.  If an employee is furloughed less than four weeks, they will remain responsible for the employee portion of their benefit premiums.

Coverage of other selected benefits such as dental, vision, basic life, and disability insurance will continue, and all employees will be asked to pay their share of the premiums to ensure continued coverage.

All furloughed employees will retain applicable tuition benefits, and as noted above, vacation and sick time accrual will continue while employees are furloughed.

The Office of Human Resources will provide detailed information to furloughed employees regarding benefits, including instructions for paying premiums for which employees are responsible.

Can I reduce my contribution to my retirement plan?

Yes. The plan allows employees to change their contribution at any time throughout the year.

Will Furman continue to contribute to my retirement plan?

No. During the furlough period, employees will remain in active status in the 403(b) retirement plan. However, because no eligible wages will be earned during the furlough period, Furman’s contributions to retirement plan accounts will be suspended. Furman’s contributions will begin again when an employee returns to active status. 

What happens with my flexible spending accounts?

Unfortunately, IRS regulations require active employment status in order to file expenses against medical FSA and dependent care FSA. During the furlough period, employees are not “active” and are not allowed to make claims for expenses. However, employees may submit medical claims that arose during the furlough after returning to active employment. You are not able to submit claims for dependent care reimbursement that occur during the time you are not working. Employees should ask the Office of Human Resources about other federal regulations regarding contributions to flexible spending accounts that have loosened for furloughed employees because of the pandemic. 

Will I be paid out for my accrued vacation leave while on furlough?

No. Vacation accrual is paid out to employees upon a complete separation of employment. Furloughed employees are on a temporary leave; they have not made a complete separation from the university. 

Do I need to make arrangements to return my Furman property/equipment?

It is our hope that employees will be able to return to their positions, so we are not asking employees to return university property at this time.


Now that the students are not on campus do employees need to report to work?

All employees who are able to work remotely should be doing so on a routine basis until further notice is provided.

The vice president of your division will work with supervisors to determine who will work remotely and who must continue to work on campus and other potential changes to duties or hours.

Will there be a reduction in workforce or pay?

At this time, employees will continue to work their regularly scheduled hours and will receive their regular pay. Any changes to an employee’s work hours will be communicated by their supervisor.

Will there be any changes to my benefits?

No, there will be no changes to benefits offered by the university as a result of remote work.

FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT: President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Under the law, group health plans — including self-insured group health plans, like Furman University’s healthcare plans, are required to provide first-dollar coverage for COVID-19 testing and related medical office, urgent care, and emergency room costs, effective immediately. This relieves Furman employees and families of any out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Questions regarding coverage for COVID-19 tests under Furman University’s health care plans should be directed to CIGNA at 800-244-6224.



What if I become ill with COVID-19, am I expected to work?

No.  The CDC recommends that employees who appear to have COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work, or who become sick during the day, should be sent home immediately.

It is the expectation of Furman that if an employee becomes ill with COVID-19 or any other illness that they seek medical care.  There is no expectation that employees must work during an illness.  It is important for employees to rest and recover.

Employees working on campus who have (1) received orders for COVID-19 testing or (2) been potentially exposed to COVID-19 should notify Human Resources as soon as possible. Employees working remotely who have (1) received orders for COVID-19 testing or (2) been potentially exposed to COVID-19 and have been on campus or in close contact (within 6 feet) with other employees should notify Human Resources as possible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a “potential exposure” as “being in household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.”

All employees are encouraged to contact Human Resources for information related to benefits applicable to employees who contract COVID-19.

What if I am caring for, living with, or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, should I come into work?

No. If an employee has been directly exposed to somebody who has tested positive for coronavirus, the employee should self-quarantine at home and follow public health guidelines for monitoring their health.

Employees who have been out with the COVID-19 virus themselves or who have been out to care for someone with COVID-19 should seek clearance to return to work from their primary health care provider or PRISMA telemedicine.

Will I be paid if I am out of work sick with COVID-19 or caring for someone who has COVID-19?

Furman will waive the eligibility requirement for Family Medical Leave that provides job protection should an employee self-quarantine or need to practice social distancing, or to address a family obligation related to COVID-19.

Employees may use their leave time available.

It is important to work with Human Resources if you become ill or you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. Documentation may be required. You may use Prisma’s Telemedicine feature for clearance to return to work.

How do I report my sick time during this emergency situation?

Employees should work with their manager so the time is entered into Workday correctly.

Will I need written medical clearance to return to work if I was out sick with COVID-19 or caring for someone with the virus?

Given the nature of COVID-19 and if you have tested positive, the potential to continue carrying the virus after a period of time is possible. It is important that we not overload health care resources such as hospitals and urgent care facilities. You may use Prisma’s Telemedicine feature for clearance to return to work.

Can I return to work if I am returning from university or personal travel to affected areas?

Please refer to the Furman Emergency Preparedness and Responsefor up-to-date recommendations about returning from areas the CDC has designated as Level 2 or 3 Travel Advisory. If an employee is returning to work from an affected area, they should contact Human Resources for guidance. The employee should self-quarantine until receiving confirmation from Human Resources that they can return to work.

If I am an employee who is considered High Risk, as defined by the CDC, can I stay home?

Employees who have health issues that put them at greater risk, per CDC guidelines, should consult with their primary care physicians or health care provider. If their advice is that the employee should avoid contact with others, the employee should email Human Resources. Furman will be flexible, working with at-risk employees on a case-by-case basis. An employee in this situation may use regular paid leave options including sick time and vacation time. The time off must be approved and considered with the employee’s manager in conjunction with Human Resources.

What can employees do to manage their emotions during this difficult time?

Furman University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has created a webinar that provides many tips on how employees can cope with the impact of the current pandemic.

Furman’s chaplains are also available for counseling, care, and conversation to all faculty and staff as a confidential resource throughout the year. Meetings can be set up by email or phone. During campus closure, the chaplains can meet with faculty and staff by video conferencing or by phone (864.294.2133). To reach any of the chaplains by email:

Vaughn CroweTipton:

Kate Taber:

Tiffany Cox:

Are you looking for local volunteering opportunities to help others during this time?

Harvest Hope – Because grocery stores are not able to supply food, they are in a very serious situation.  They are asking for financial help.  The website for donations is:

Habitat for Humanity – The biggest need is financial help for the families that are already in their homes.  Donations may be sent to: Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 1206, Greenville, SC 29602

Triune Mercy Center – They are in desperate need of the following items for the people in the homeless community:

Bottled water – they have a water station in the parking lot, however, they need bottled water for people to have with them throughout the day and evenings

Canned foods – i.e. Vienna sausage, fruit cups, crackers, pudding, protein bars

Personal hygiene items – baby wipes, bars of soap, bath towels

Financial donations

Neighborhood Focus – This is an afterschool program that could use volunteers in the following ways:  Reading a book online, organizing a prayer team, leading an art or gratitude activity, writing notes of encouragement, helping others with math support.  If interested, please contact: Keith Groce, Executive Director, P.O. Box 9127, Greenville, SC 29604.  Phone: (864) 704-7878. Email:

Neighborhood Focus is located at 6914 White Horse Road, Greenville, SC


Is there emergency assistance available to the Greenville community?

United Way of Greenville County, in partnership with local foundations and corporations, have formed a COVID 19 Community Relief fund.  This fund provides emergency relief to individuals and families who are impacted by the pandemic.  To inquire about emergency assistance, please call 2-1-1.

Additional Workplace Guidance for Managers

Employees must not be pressured to come to work if they are ill or need to stay at home to care for ill dependents. Additionally, managers and supervisors need to ensure that they are not pressuring otherwise healthy employees to not come in for reasons such as the employee’s ethnic or racial background, home address, having cared for a sick family member (without any indication of COVID-19), recent travel to unaffected areas, or other impermissible reasons.

Management’s Remote Worker Manual

Management’s Remote Worker Manual provides guidance to Furman University’s managers and supervisors who are managing employees working remotely during the mitigation efforts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What if I have questions that have not been addressed?

Please contact Human Resources with any additional questions at or call 864.294.2217.

Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Faculty and Staff Information

For the latest information and announcements regarding our institutional response to COVID-19, visit

Self-Quarantine/Leave Policies

If you feel sick do not come to work. Seek medical assistance if warranted.

Faculty should follow the Faculty Absences (120.1) policy and staff should follow the Sick/Bereavement Leave: Support and Administrative Personnel (818.1) policy and discuss individual scenarios with your manager, department head or Human Resources.

Traveled to impacted areas, have symptoms, or have a person in your household that may have COVID-19?

For staff who have traveled to impacted areas, have current symptoms and/or have a person in the household with the known COVID-19 virus, please contact Human Resources.  If you present symptoms or have been in contact with someone who may have COVID-19, you should also contact your preferred health care provider, who will advise you on appropriate next steps, and self-quarantine for 14 days.

For more guidance, if you or a member of your household has COVID-19, please see this information from the CDC.

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is important that we remain civil, supportive, and respectful to all members of our community as we monitor the global coronavirus outbreak. If any faculty or staff member experiences any form of possible discrimination or biased act please contact the Associate Vice President of Human Resources at 864.294.2217. Students should contact Title IX director Melissa Nichols at 864.294.2221.

Furman University is committed to providing equal access to its educational programs, activities and facilities to students, faculty and staff without discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, color, creed, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other category protected by applicable state or federal law.

Read the university’s nondiscrimination policy.

University-Sponsored Travel

All university-sponsored travel requires pre-approval by a vice president.

Prisma Health Information

Prisma Health has created a webpage with the most up-to-date information about COVID-19.

Use Prisma Health’s Virtual Visit online care option, including a new on-demand video option. Visit or call your primary care provider if symptoms develop.

Coronavirus Workplace FAQs

Employees are asked to review the following workplace frequently asked questions (FAQs). These FAQs are subject to change as developments occur on the national and local levels. Questions may be directed to the Office of Human Resources at the following email address:

We wish to support our community and understand that employees may be feeling stress and/or anxiety about these events. Employees should contact Furman’s Employee Assistance Program (866.799.2485) if they are experiencing these issues.

Link to various resources and assistance available in Greenville County.

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