When you negotiate an employment contract, you should watch out for any clauses that allow your employer to furlough you. A furlough is when your employer relieves you of your work duties for a period of time without pay. Later, your employer may call you back to resume your position.
You might not want your workplace to furlough you. Alternatively, you may not object to a furlough as long as you can seek other work in the meantime. The Business Insider explains what to be aware of if you find furlough language in your contract.
Restrictions from working
If you know you will be on furlough for a long time, you might take a temporary job elsewhere. You should check your contract to be sure that your employer will not bar you from other employment. Generally, unless your contract specifically says you cannot take other work, you should be free to have another job during your furlough. Also check for any non-compete clauses that could keep you from working for certain companies.
How furloughs will occur
Not all furloughs happen by relieving you of your duties for an extended period. Your contract may state that your employer will only furlough you a single day in a week or one week in a month. This might be more manageable for you, but make sure your contract specifically says how your employer can limit your work hours and days.
Some employees actually receive a contract that forbids furloughs. Sometimes when unions negotiate contracts for employees, they make sure that the contract bans furloughs. You might secure a furlough ban for yourself as well. If you are negotiating your own contract, you may ask your employer to give you language that prevents a furlough or at least tailors your furlough in a way you feel comfortable with.