U.S. Companies force workers to take unpaid vacation

  U.S. Companies force workers to take unpaid vacation 

 NEW YORK, Dec 31 — Here’s the vacation no one wants, courtesy of the recession: Forced time off without pay.

Financially struggling American universities, factories and even hospitals are requiring employees to take unpaid “furloughs” — temporary layoffs that amount to one-time pay cuts for workers and a cost savings for employers. This year, the number of temporarily laid off workers hit a 17-year high.

“If they do it once, I think it’s easier for them to try to do it again,” said Carrie Swartout, who researches traumatic brain injuries at the University of Maryland Medical Centre. Maryland is requiring unpaid time off for 67,000 of its 80,000 employees as it struggles with a budget crisis. The state says the furloughs will save an estimated US$34 million (RM119 million) during the fiscal year.

State governments, facing lower revenues but stymied by the long process required to cut public sector jobs, are using furloughs as a quick way to trim payrolls. Private-sector businesses — from automakers to small businesses — are shutting down factories and offices as sales drop.

The temporary layoffs are “kind of employment purgatory, but it’s better than the alternative,” said Carl Van Horn, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University. They’re a typical response to decreasing demand in a recession, although this round is slightly worse than past bad recessions, Van Horn said.

 

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Companies force workers to take unpaid vacation The Malaysian Insider

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