Many Toil Through Forced Leave

Workers on furloughs aren't granted—or won't allow themselves—time off
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 15, 2009 7:34 AM CDT
A group with many Motor Vehicle Commission employees holds signs to protest furloughs Monday, May 18, 2009, outside the Statehouse in Trenton, NJ.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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(Newser) – Sure, required time off beats a layoff—but that can be tough to remember as many continue working through their furloughs, the New York Times reports. Some worry their jobs are at stake if they don’t keep working; others just can’t get their employers to schedule days off. And “sometimes it’s just too busy at work,” notes one employee. “You start to feel guilty.”

The furlough isn’t “doing what it was designed to do,” says a California man. “We were imagining three-day weekends. It was a trade-off for sure, but people were OK.” But now, “people are working in fear because they don’t know what’s going to happen next.” A labor expert calls furloughs “risky,” saying, “A worker’s emotional reaction to a furlough takes control of rational thought.”