As we move forward with job search or career planning you may be asking what is going on with more experienced workers who have been furloughed or laid-off. Here is some feedback from a UNT Faculty member Dr. Julie Hancock and a helpful article she passed on.
My understanding is that they are not technically laid off—there is not a separation of the employee from the company, but they are forced to take unpaid leave and it is supposed to be a temporary situation. The company doesn’t have to rehire them because they have not been officially laid off/let go. There are several benefits to this in terms of saving money (not having to pay severance, not having to spend on recruiting when the crisis is over, etc.), but the workers are obviously suffering.
Here is a great SHRM article that does a great job of explaining this in more detail and what furloughed employees are entitled to (i.e. unemployment benefits). https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/coronavirus-furloughs-layoffs-or-pay-cuts.aspx