As a cost-cutting means for companies to avoid layoffs, the furlough has roared on to the work scene with amazing speed. When employers have closed facilities, laid off staff, reduced health-care benefits, and eliminated contributions to pension and savings plans, there are only a few things available to further reduce costs. It seems no industry or worker is immune to taking vacations without pay.
Q: My employer has announced that all employees will be required to take a 10-day furlough before the end of the year, and we’ve been asked to attend an information session and come with prepared questions. What do I need to ask? — Richard, Vermont
A: Richard, you may find that your employer has anticipated many of your questions, but here are the questions I would want answered:
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- Discounts on travel and everyday savings.
- Subscription to AARP The Magazine.
- Free membership for your spouse or partner.