Can workers collect unemployment during furlough?

Q. We are planning to furlough employees temporarily. If we do rolling furloughs, can employees get unemployment comp to cover some of their time off? — B.L., Missouri

It depends on state law. In some states, employees on furlough are eligible for unemployment compensation benefits after they’ve been unemployed for seven days. Because of this threshold, employees on short furloughs often don’t bother to file for benefits.

However, as a proactive step in case of subsequent furloughs, employees can file for benefits during their first furlough in order to start the seven-day clock running. That will allow them to collect benefits immediately if they’re furloughed again within 12 months.