101.7 / 710 KEEL has obtained a copy of an email sent to department heads for the City of Shreveport. The memorandum, from the city's Chief Administrative Officer Henry Whitehorn, asks for city employees to volunteer to take unpaid furlough to attempt to give the city short term financial relief.

Directors,

 

Circumstances beyond the City of Shreveport’s control necessitate the need for temporary furlough of City employees. Rather than permanently separating employees from the workforce, this personnel action will place employees in a temporary, non-duty and non-pay status while maintaining their eligibility for health benefits and retirement credit. The furlough status of an employee does not waive his or her employment rights available under the law.

 

At this time, the City is soliciting employees who are willing to be placed on voluntarily furlough (leave without pay (“LWOP”) status). Any employee who would like to volunteer to be placed on furlough must submit a request to their director in writing. The savings from voluntary LWOP will be used to reduce the number of employees subject to furlough or the number of furlough hours for all employees being furloughed.

 

Employees placed in LWOP status may be entitled to unemployment benefits. Outside employment is permitted for furloughed employees for the duration of the furlough period, so long as said employment does not violate the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics or dual office holding provisions of the State.  If an employee obtains outside employment during the furlough period, the City shall no longer be obligated (other than what is required by law) to provide the employee benefits referenced in the “Employee Benefits” provision of this policy.

In an earlier interview with KEEL, Shreveport's Chief Financial Officer, Sherricka Fields Jones, said that the city faces a revenue shortfall of $25 million between now and the end of the year, the funding shortage caused by the paucity of tax dollars, a result of businesses shutting down as part of the Governor's stay-at-home order.