Understanding What it Means to Be Furloughed VS Laid Off

[This article was written by Kara Masterson.]

During the pandemic, a record number of people have filed for unemployment. In fact, some projections say that up to 30% of Americans will be out of a job. If you have been furloughed or laid off, then you will want to know the difference between the two terms. Here are the four major differences between furloughed and laid off that you should know about.

Furloughed Could Mean Being out of a Job for a Little While

A furloughed employee is usually out of work for a shorter period of time. Usually, a company that furloughs an employee is experiencing a temporary disruption in their business. That means that the company expects to be back at full capacity soon and they will want the employee back as soon as they need him. A furloughed employee could be out of work from anywhere between a couple of days to a couple of months. A laid-off employee is usually out of work for much longer than a couple of days. In some cases, the laid-off worker is not able to come back to their job.

Furloughed Workers Can Still Receive Pay

A furloughed worker is still considered to be on the payroll and can still receive pay and benefits. Sometimes the pay may be lower than the usual salary. A laid-off worker may receive several weeks of pay to help bridge the gap in salary between jobs. This is known as severance pay. Typically, professional workers will receive two weeks of severance for every year that they served for a company. However, a laid-off worker may not be able to receive any money at all.

No Job Waiting for Laid off Workers

If you are laid off, then there may be no job waiting for you at the moment. That’s why many laid-off workers rely on staffing offices to help them find their next temporary or permanent employment. Staffing offices can take a look at your current skill set and match you with the ideal job.

Furloughed Employees Can Come Back to Work 

By law, a furloughed employee must be able to return to work after one year. A laid-off employee may not be able to return to work at all. That’s why you will want to look for a job right away if you are laid-off.

Leaning the difference between being furloughed and being laid off can better prepare you for future employment. Be sure to check current employment laws to see what rights or benefits you can receive as either a furloughed or laid-off employee.

Author Bio:

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys Tennis and spending time with her family.

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