What rights does a furloughed employee have?

Furloughed employees have the right to seek new employment. For an employer, one of the main risks of this process is that their top talent will get jobs elsewhere. Many employees consider taking temporary jobs during a furlough. They should check carefully for rules against outside employment and/or second jobs, as their employer is free to enforce these policies even during a furlough. A furloughed employee may also be able to claim unemployment benefits for their time without pay. Each state has individual rules for collecting unemployment, including (potentially) waiting periods to collect benefits and a requirement that the applicant show an active job search. Either or both of these may disqualify a furloughed worker. Further, furloughed workers who receive back pay for their time away from work will typically have to pay back any unemployment benefits they collected.

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