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Furloughed Workers File Employment Lawsuits

Some Furloughs may be in Violation of California Labor Laws

A furlough is both a voluntary and involuntary leave of absence from work. A voluntary furlough is basically a vacation; an involuntary furlough is time off without pay or a temporary lay-off, mainly due to employers' economic conditions. Recently many workers have been "furloughed" and some have filed lawsuits against their former employers, claiming the furlough—or temporary dismissal—was illegal and possibly discriminatory.

California Furlough
The State of California attempted to mandate furloughs as a cost-cutting measure but it may be a violation of the California labor employment law, which is designed to protect workers from unfavorable behavior on the part of employers. Recently, the private sector has implemented furloughs as a means to save money.

Exempt Employees
The State of California lowered the exemption threshold for computer workers, for example, to an annual salary of $75,000. If an exempt employee's salary is less than that level the employer may lose overtime exempt status for that employee. This means that the employee could have an overtime claim for the remainder of the year. As well, if a salaried, overtime-exempt employee is on a furlough, say for one week, he should not be asked to do any work at home. According to the labor law, if any work is performed at home, the employee is entitled to be paid for the entire week.

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Published on Jun-8-09


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