Getting furloughed...(long)

Well, this week, we found out that all of us at our company are expected to take a week off. If we have vacation time, we are expected to use it; if we don’t, we get the week unpaid. I have been lumped in with the “production” group (since I don’t have much to do if we aren’t actually making product) and therefore, my week is the week after Memorial Day (Memorial Day is a paid holiday for everyone anyway.)

Yes, I know, I am lucky to have a job at all, blah, blah, blah. But it seems like such a waste! School isn’t even out yet! It’s even worse for the “non-production” group, since they have to take their week before Memorial Day. Since they are paying most of us to do nothing, I’m a little fuzzy on the “saving money” part. Is this just so they don’t have to pay us so much when they do eventually lay us off? If they shut the whole plant down for a week, they would save money on electricity, etc. But that’s not what they are doing. All the “non-production” people will be there while we “production” people are gone.

I have almost exactly two weeks of PTO right now. I had been thinking about taking a week around the 4th of July. If I do that, though, I will have no time left if they do this again! So, looks like this is it for summer vacation. My husband has to work, my daughter has to go to school…sigh.

I’ve been invited to a Facebook reunion of people I went to elementary and junior high school with in Bozeman, Montana. It is May 29. Originally, I thought I wouldn’t go since I didn’t think my company would be too keen on me taking time off right after Memorial Day. Well, little did I know. Flying to Montana’s pretty expensive, though (especially that week). And I would be alone…I could have probably gotten my sister to come along, but she is broke because she had to fly to a funeral recently. But, the more I think about it, what else am I going to do? And if I lose my job, this could be my last vacation for a long time. Or perhaps I should spend the week squirreled up in my house sizing up which possessions to eBay in preparation for the end. I think that’s what a lot of my coworkers will be doing :(.

This is just so…odd. For so long, they wanted us to work, work, work and put in more and more overtime (even when I didn’t think it was really necessary) and now, suddenly it’s not only “take all the time you need” but “take your time right NOW whether you need it or not!” A married couple at my workplace is not even allowed to take their time together because one is in the “production” group and the other is “non-production”. Makes no sense.

Is this happening to anyone else? (I’m sure it is, the way things are going these days.) Is this really the beginning of the end, or is there a chance that this will help turn the tide?

My company is actually on shutdown as of yesterday. We’ll be going back to work in a week. It’s unpaid for nearly everyone since we get our vacation time in June and most people don’t have any left. We also shut down for two weeks last Christmas and we’ll be shutting down for two weeks in the summer. The nice thing about right now is that we’re getting our profit sharing next week and for most of us, it’s much more than that one week pay would have been. Mine will be almost 3x my normal pay and I’m on the lower end. And, this week will allow us to the the one-week waiting period out of the way to collect unemployment in the summer shutdown.

They planned it specifically for this week because the kids are on vacation. Yay :rolleyes:. I get to spend my shutdown with the kids (not mine).

We also had 6 people laid off about 3 weeks ago.

Our industry is mostly a recreation industry. We make tracks for snowmobiles. We also have some commercial tracks but mostly recreational. So, we’re bound to see some sales drop as the economy continues to suck.

Yikes. We did lay off about 20 people three weeks ago, too. Spring break for the kids is long over here–my daughter has today off and then no more time until Memorial Day.

I know it could be worse, but are we going to see just how much worse?

They also came out with a fairly harsh attendance policy at the same time that goes into affect Monday. Well, which is it? Use our time or don’t use it? Now we have to give 48 hrs notice if we feel a sniffle coming on or we get dinged for it.

Your company probably isn’t looking for a huge savings just some minor cost cutting. But the more employees who have no leave accumulated and have to take the time off completely unpaid, the more cash they will save.

BTW, they are saving money (in a sense) even on those employees who have enough leave to get a full paycheck. Leave is carried as a debt on the corporate books, and if they force employees to use up leave, they decrease the debt on their balance sheet. It’s conceivable this could have some benefits for the company down the road, like more favorable terms on a loan, or a better deal in a buy-out.

My dad’s company did shut down the whole plant for a week last week. So my parents took a short week vacation. They enjoyed it.

But Mom asked Dad if he thought he’d be getting Good Friday off from work this year. Yep–well, not “Good Friday” as the religious holiday, but yeah, they’d close the plant down that day, because they often do, and especially likely this year. So, whole week off, followed by a three day weekend.

And pressure to use up vacation time–which bugs my mother–partly because of the planning ahead portion, and partially because of the desire to hoard some time off for funerals, or other emergency situations.

In many states you can file for Unemployment if your work has you furloughed for a week

We had to do this over the Holidays. And many architectural firms have done this for key members of their staff rather then laying them off. I myself am in that situation as I don’t have enough work to keep me full time. So first I have to use all my vacation, then unpaid time off. So depending on what I have going on I might work the full week, or none of iit. Normally I get paid a salary–right now I get paid for the hours I work. So some checks are okay and others are dismal–but it is still better then unemployment and I get to keep my benefits.

Architectural firms got hit pretty early on this. Nobody lending money means no one is designing buildings to be built. Contractors started to get hit about a month or so ago–again, nobody designing anything means nothing to build. Most Architectural firms have laid off between 20-50% of their staffs.

Then groups like yours will get hit. Nobody is buying so they can’t keep up the same production, etc.

Now we will come out of first. We will start to get busy and then a month or two the contractors will get busy, etc. I feel I am already seeing signs of movement which is good.

And as Boyo Jim stated vacation, etc is carried as debt on the books and the goal is to reduce debt as much as possible.

End result is if I want a vacation this summer I will be doing it on unpaid time off.

When a company I used to work for a few years ago lost some major contracts, they had an interesting solution. The employees at their production facilities had ten paid holidays cut to six paid holidays but the plants were still closed for ten days. Shortly after, they cut everyone else (corp & eng) down from ten to eight paid holidays but didn’t shut down so the salaried people just had to work two more days. A memo was printed on our paystubs to inform us of the changes. Within two months there was a small exodus from the company.

It reminded me of Milton in Office Space when they found that he was fired years ago but no one told him so they ‘fixed’ the accounting error so he just wouldn’t get paid anymore and the problem would just sort itself out.
As for my current employer, I’ve been on medical leave since the middle of February and planned to go back in May. Since then, I have been told to “take your time coming back” and rumor is a week long shut down in May is going to be announced next week (fiscal quarter ends 4/15).

Yes, I recently posted about this in another thread. My company required us to use 5 vacation days at Christmas (if you didn’t have any days left, you “borrowed” from the next year). Due to the crap economy, they also made us take ANOTHER 5 vacation days…in February. I get 15 “PTO” days a year, I have now used 1 in January (as part of the Dec shutdown) 5 in February and know that I need to save a few for the upcoming December shut down (I haven’t looked at the calendar, but it will be 4-5 days, like last year). If I don’t budget the days for December, I will have to borrow from next year - hate the thought of that.

I also had a terrible sinus infection with a 102.7 degree fever and missed 2 days of work.

So, now it’s April…and I have maybe 2 vacation (and sick!) days left for the entire year. I hate it hate it hate it hate it. I keep reminding myself I’m lucky to be employed, but I love being able to take the occasional Friday off, just to relax or get stuff done, forget having a REAL vacation this year, where I get to take a trip!

Luckily the sinus infection was an aberration and I’m a pretty healthy person as a rule. I’m not “wasting” any of my precious, remaining PTO on sick time - barring a terrible fever or vomit, I’m bringing my sick, germy self to work if I get sick. Sorry coworkers!!!

People at MPOW have been informed that we have to take furlough days next fiscal year (that begins July 1 for us). We’re not being told when we have to take them and they are true unpaid days, which means our actual pay will be reduced for the year and each paycheck will be less, regardless of when we are able to take the time.

Employees at my level have to take 5 days. I think the max for upper level administrators is 10 days, but I’m not sure I’m remembering correctly on that - that’s one thing that soothes slightly for me - they are across the board furloughs, not only applied to those of us lower down the ladder.