Millions of U.S. workers are being furloughed as the coronavirus brings the economy to a virtual standstill. Those emergency measures are likely to continue as some states extend orders to close non-essential businesses, leaving workers questioning what it means to be furloughed.  The simple answer: “It’s a mandatory, temporary, unpaid leave,” said Misty Guinn, director of benefits and wellness at benefit-software company Benefitfocus. Companies ranging from hotel giant Marriott to retailers such as JCPenney are turning to furloughs as the pandemic takes a toll on everything from travel to in-store shopping, with more than 40 states now imposing stay-at-home orders. For most private-sector workers and their families, furloughs may be unfamiliar, given they’ve most recently been tapped by the U.S. government during budget impasses rather than corporations that have long turned to mass layoffs when times get tough. “Many of us know what ‘laid off’ means. Many people might have been in that situation throughout their lives,” Guinn said. “Companies are looking at furloughs because they do help reduce the labor costs without adding in new ones.”For instance, companies that lay off workers typically pay for severance and outplacement services, and then later may face costs when they’re ready to hire again. But furloughs

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