Temporary leave vs. termination during the pandemic

With all of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 relief programs, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (MiDLEO) is urging employers to “place employees on temporary leave and advise the worker that they expect to have work available within 120 days, as opposed to termination.”  The state recognizes that there is “uncertainty regarding potential congressional action regarding whether and how furloughed workers will be able to access federal paid sick, family and medical leave resources”, but wants employers to note that: 

  • There is no additional cost to employers,
  • Employees remain eligible for UI benefits through the state, and,
  • Employees may remain eligible for potential federal assistance.

Employers should provide employees with information on how to apply for unemployment. This Employee Fact Sheet can be provided to employees. For employers, MiDLEO lists steps for placing employees on temporary unpaid leave with direct links to specific information here and other Unemployment Information for Employers here.