Furloughs will range from one to four days, depending on the pay scale.

Governor Jared Polis announced on Tuesday, September 22, that the state will be implementing furloughs for employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

State employees that make more than $50,000 a year will be required to furlough days to try to make up for Colorado's budget shortfall, which is projected at $3.3 billion. Polis did not have information at the time of his announcement on how much these planned furloughs will save the state. 

“Colorado is facing one of the most challenging economic crises in our history, and public agencies are facing difficult budget constraints," Polis said in a prepared statement. "Just as the private sector is tightening its belt, so too must the government. This thoughtful furlough plan helps address the state's budget shortfall while ensuring that our lower wage workers are not impacted and we can continue to deliver high-quality critical services for Coloradans." 

The length of furlough time is determined by employee annual pay scale with a few exemptions. Those who make $50,001 to $70,000 will be required to take one furlough day; those making $70,001 to $90,000 will take two days; those making $90,001 to $140,000 will take three days; and those making above $140,000 will take four days. Polis and his cabinet will be taking furlough days, as well. 

Employees who meet the furlough requirements will have to take their days by the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year. Some days will be mandated furlough days, including Nov. 27, the day after Thanksgiving. All eligible employees will be must furlough on that day and most non-essential government offices will be closed. 

There are some state workers who are exempt from the furlough order:

  • Employees necessary to respond to the COVID pandemic
  • Employees who assist Coloradans in finding jobs
  • Employees who protect public safety and roads

"I know this won’t be easy, but we’re in this together and know that we’ll bounce back even stronger than before," Polis said. 

What do you think of the furloughs? Let us know in the comments.