How Terminations, Layoffs and Furloughs Differ

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Terminations, layoffs, and furloughs – these three words generally communicate bad news to workers, but the consequences they cause vary in specifics.

Hear from an employment attorney, an HR consultant, and a benefits expert on what exactly the three terms mean and what consequences they carry for employers and employees alike.

Terminations: The simplest scenario

When an employer terminates an employee, it severs the employment relationship. The same can be said when an employer “fires” or “discharges” someone.

When Congress passed the Family First Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA), it sparked a lot of questions as to who would qualify for the paid sick leave and emergency Family and Medical Leave Act leave the law provided, Bailey said. Employers that planned to close, even temporarily, wanted to know if they would be required to provide the paid leave mandated by the statute, which took effect April 2.

“Initially, there was a push for employers to terminate. Once the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its guidance, employers learned that employees of a small business that closed due to a lack of work or a quarantine or isolation order would not be eligible for leave.​

Where the consequences of layoffs and furloughs align…

Many employers changed their terminology to communicate to workers that “when all of this is over, we’re going to want you back.”

The terms layoff and furlough signal that change. With layoffs and furloughs, there’s some anticipation or expectation that at some point in time, the employment relationship will resume.

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CPI Twin Cities

CPI Twin Cities

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