While the economy is beginning to show signs of slowing turning around, businesses are still turning to employee furloughs and other alternative work schedules as a means to save costs and jobs. I’ve previously written on some of the wage and hour issues employers need to mind in implementing a furlough program. See Risks abound for businesses considering unpaid time off to save costs. The Department of Labor has now stepped into the fray and has published Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Furloughs and Other Reductions in Pay and Hours Worked Issues [PDF]. According to the DOL, its guide is “intended to answer some of the most frequently asked questions that have arisen when private and public employers require employees to take furloughs and to take other reductions in pay and / or hours worked as businesses and State and local governments adjust to economic challenges.”
If you are still considering implementing a furlough program or other alternate work schedule, this FAQ is a good starting point to helping you navigate the maze of wage and hour laws that impact your decision. Because of the complexity of these issue, I still recommend consulting with employment counsel before final implementation.
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