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Dallas furloughs 500 employees due to COVID-19-fueled budget woes

Dallas furloughs 500 employees due to COVID-19-fueled budget woes

Dallas City Hall
City Hall staff is going to be cut by nearly 500 employees. Photo courtesy of Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau

The city of Dallas is planning to furlough 500 employees in a temporary layoff that will last through the end of July.

memo from city manager T.C. Broadnax says that the furloughed employees will include "non-essential" jobs, part-time and temporary employees, and interns.

It also says that the city is anticipating an estimated $25 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal year.

"Chief of Staff Kimberly Bizor Tolber is developing a 'workplace stabilization plan' with options that included redeployment, abbreviated work hours, furlough days, early retirement incentives, or a reduction in force," says Broadnax.

Phase One of the plan includes furlough days for employees "currently on mandatory leave and not working, and part-time and temporary employees and interns deemed nonessential in 10 departments," the memo says.

The furlough begins May 13 and extends through at least July 31, but may be extended. Furloughed employees are eligible for unemployment, and their health coverage remains in effect.

According to the Dallas Voice, departments affected include parks and recreation, library, arts, culture, and facilities employees.

Twitter user Fair Park Rising helpfully offers a list of city employees whose annual salaries are above six figures, including many mid-level directors who earn in the vicinity of $200,000 a year, but none of those positions were furloughed.

Other suggestions for cutbacks include subsidies to VisitDallas, the Arboretum, the Dallas Zoo, and the vaguely-missioned Economic Development department.

According to Broadnax, a Phase Two may include intermittent furlough days, additional positions furloughed, and/or a reduction in force.