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A furlough is a temporary release from work without ending the employer-employee relationship. Most furloughs are the route taken by an employer when companies face dire financial circumstances such as the current pandemic, yet believe that there is an opportunity for improvement in the future. An employer may preserve the furloughed employee’s benefits such as health insurance. There are notice requirements that apply under state and federal law, especially if the employer has 100 or more full-time employees. 

Furloughed workers, those put on mandatory unpaid leave, are able to apply for Florida unemployment benefits. Eligibility is based on one’s earnings in a prior week, not the number of hours you worked. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has launched a new website to streamline the application process in applying for unemployment benefits.