The use of furloughs is increasingly popular throughout many industries, but when employees are furloughed, the employer must make it clear that the employee must not do any work whatsoever. Given the myriad of remote access devices that we all have these days (including laptops, PDAs, e-mail, voice mail), it is likely that some exempt employees will be inclined to check their e-mail, return phone messages, or otherwise "work" while on furlough. However, as exempt employees are entitled to pay for any workweek in which any work is performed, employers should clearly advise that work is not authorized during any furlough period without advance written approval.
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