If I have a mandatory 30 days notice in my contract can an employer put my on furlough with no pay on 1 day’s notice?

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If I have a mandatory 30 days notice in my contract can an employer put my on furlough with no pay on 1 day’s notice?

My employer called my on a Tuesday night and said starting tomorrow you are not getting paid; you are on furlough. I am a full-time employee, not exempt and not on salary. I have a mandatory 30 day notice of termination in writing in my contract. My employers says I am not terminated, I am furlough so he doesn’t have to give me notice.

Asked on July 26, 2011 Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether this was termination, even if the employer won't call it that. To that question, there is no easy answer. For example, if they furloughed you for one day, that clearly would *not* be termination; on the other hand, an open-ended "furlough" with no reinstatement date very likely would be considered termination. In between the two extremes are situations where, even if the furlough is not officially "open-ended," that the reinstatement date is sufficiently far off or subject to change that it would still be considered termination...and contrariwise, situations where a fairly long (several weeks) furlough would not be termination because the reinstatement is certain and soon enough. Every situation is different; you should consult with an employment attorney (many provide a free initial consultation to evaluate a case) to see whether, in your circumstances, this might constitute termination and hence give you grounds for relief under the contract.


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