Michigan aims to save $80 million by temporarily furloughing 31,000 employees through July


  • State of Michigan

The State of Michigan announced Wednesday that it would temporarily lay off more than half of all state employees to compensate for the state's growing deficit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said that those 31,000 employees expected to be impacted — which do not include state-employed frontline workers, such as law enforcement, corrections officers, and those in veterans services — will take two furlough days off each bi-weekly pay period starting May 17 and will be active through July 25. The reduced hours will allow employees to collect partial unemployment, a federal program they will be automatically enrolled in.

The layoffs are expected to result in an $80 million wage savings for the state.

“As we continue to combat COVID-19, it’s clear that we’re facing unprecedented challenges that will lead to serious budget implications for the state of Michigan,” Whitmer said in a press release. “Utilizing this federal program keeps state employees working so they can continue to provide critical services to Michiganders and protects their paychecks so they can continue to support their families.”

Furloughed employees will not lose their health insurance or other benefits. Those state workers at high-level managerial positions will not be eligible for partial unemployment benefits but will have to take a furlough day every other pay period.

According to the release, Whitmer, too, agreed to a 10% pay cut through the rest of the fiscal year, and her executive staff and cabinet's pay has been reduced by 5%.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.