What is the Difference Between Furlough and PLP 2: A Comprehensive Guide

Have you been feeling a little confused about the difference between furlough and PLP 2? You’re not alone. These two concepts have been causing quite a stir lately, especially in the world of work and employment. While they share some similarities, there are also some key differences between them that are important to understand. So, what’s the deal? Let’s take a closer look.

First of all, let’s start by defining what these terms actually mean. Furlough is when an employer requires their employees to take a temporary leave of absence, usually due to financial difficulties or a lack of work. During this time, the employee is not paid but retains their employment status and may still receive benefits such as health insurance. PLP 2, on the other hand, stands for Personal Leave Program 2. This is a program that was put in place by the state of California to help alleviate budget cuts by reducing government employee salaries and work hours.

So, what’s the big difference between furlough and PLP 2? While both can result in a temporary reduction in pay and work hours, the key difference is that furlough is initiated by the employer while PLP 2 is initiated by the state. Additionally, furlough usually lasts for a shorter period of time than PLP 2 and is intended to be a temporary solution to a specific problem, while PLP 2 is an ongoing program that may continue even after the budget crisis has been resolved. Understanding these differences is crucial for anyone who may be affected by these programs, whether as an employee or an employer.

Definition of furlough and PLP 2

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world, unemployment rates skyrocketed, and companies were forced to take actions to preserve their businesses’ health. Two of the most common measures seen in this pandemic are furlough and PLP 2. Both measures are often used interchangeably, but they are fundamentally different from each other.

  • Furlough: A furlough is a temporary leave of absence for employees with the intention of them returning to their job. During a furlough, employees are not terminated and retain the right to return to their previous job. In most cases, employees are not paid during the furlough period and are often eligible for government aid, such as unemployment benefits. Companies usually furlough employees for a set period and can use this time to implement cost-cutting measures while retaining their workforce.
  • PLP 2: PLP stands for Personal Leave Program. PLP 2 is a paid leave program that reduces the number of hours an employee works due to budget constraints. This program is often used in California state government agencies to reduce costs, avoid layoffs, and keep the State’s workforce employable. Typically, employees enrolled in PLP 2 work fewer hours or days and receive a corresponding reduction in pay. This way, the company can save on wages but still retain their employees and avoid the significant upfront costs of hiring and training new staff.

Both furlough and PLP 2 are temporary measures. However, furlough is unpaid leave, while PLP 2 is a paid program that reduces the number of hours an employee works. While both measures have different impacts on employees, companies need to weigh the potential impacts on their employees and business operations. Regardless, both measures can help companies get through rough patches without sacrificing their entire workforce.

Eligibility requirements for furlough and PLP 2

As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic disruptions, many companies have implemented furloughs and PLP 2 as cost-saving measures. However, to be eligible for furlough and PLP 2, there are certain requirements that employees must meet.

  • Furlough: To be eligible for furlough, an employee must be on a temporary leave of absence due to a lack of business or funds. The employee should not be performing any work during this time, and the furlough should be for a specific period with an expected return date. Additionally, some companies may require that the employee worked for a certain length of time before becoming eligible for furlough.
  • PLP 2: On the other hand, PLP 2 requires a different set of eligibility requirements. To be eligible for PLP 2, an employee must have a regular full-time or part-time appointment with a minimum of one year of state service. Additionally, employees must be receiving a salary from state funds and be actively working for the state. It’s worth mentioning that some collective bargaining agreements may modify these requirements.

It’s important to note that furlough and PLP 2 eligibility requirements may vary depending on the company or organization implementing them. Employers should communicate the requirements and guidelines clearly with their employees to avoid misunderstandings.

However, furlough and PLP 2 may not be the only options available to employees. Depending on their situation, they might be eligible for unemployment benefits, disability insurance, or other forms of financial assistance. Employees should explore all available options and seek advice before making a decision.

Extraordinary Circumstances

In certain situations, an employee’s eligibility requirements for furlough and PLP 2 may be affected by extraordinary circumstances. For instance, an employee may be granted furlough due to illness or acute trauma without being subject to the usual eligibility requirements. Similarly, some employees may be allowed to take PLP 2 without meeting the minimum one-year state service requirement if they have faced unexpected hardships such as a family member’s illness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges for many companies and employees, and employers have had to adapt to new circumstances. In these extraordinary times, it’s important to remain flexible and responsive to the situation’s demands while following the established guidelines and requirements.


Knowing the eligibility requirements for furlough and PLP 2 is essential for both employers and employees to avoid misunderstandings and ensure compliance with the guidelines. Employers must communicate the requirements clearly while taking into account any extraordinary circumstances that might arise. Employees must explore all available options and seek advice to make informed decisions. Ultimately, furlough and PLP 2 are just some of the measures that employers can take to weather the current economic storm, and with a flexible and proactive approach, they can make the best out of the situation.

Eligibility requirements for furlough Eligibility requirements for PLP 2
Temporary leave of absence Regular full-time or part-time appointment with a minimum of one year of state service
No work performed during furlough Receiving a salary from state funds and actively working for the state
Specific period with an expected return date Collective bargaining agreements may modify requirements

Source: CA.gov

Duration of furlough vs PLP 2

One of the significant differences between furlough and PLP 2 is the duration of each program. Furlough is typically a shorter-term measure than PLP 2, and it is usually implemented during a temporary decline in workload or financial hardship. Furloughs are typically implemented to save costs or to avoid layoffs. Employers use furloughs to manage their payroll expenses by reducing the number of hours or days employees work each week or month.

  • Furloughs often last for a period of weeks or months, depending on the company’s financial situation.
  • During a furlough, employees remain on the company’s payroll and may continue to receive some benefits such as health insurance, but they may not receive their full pay.
  • Furloughs can be mandatory or voluntary and can be implemented for the entire workforce or specific departments.

On the other hand, PLP 2 is a longer-term measure that is designed to address ongoing financial challenges. PLP 2 stands for Personal Leave Program 2, and it is a mandatory leave without pay program that was implemented by the State of California in response to budgetary constraints. Unlike furloughs, PLP 2 is aimed at reducing payroll expenditure over an extended period to balance the state’s budget.

PLP 2 is mandatory for most state employees and typically lasts for one to two years. During the PLP 2 period, employees must take a certain amount of unpaid leave each month, based on their salary. The exact amount of required leave is determined by an employee’s pay scale, and can range from one to three days per month.

Salary Range Number of PLP 2 Days per Month
$150,000+ 3 days
$100,000-$149,000 2.5 days
$50,000-$99,000 2 days
$40,000-$50,000 1.5 days
$30,000-$39,000 1 day
Less than $30,000 0.5 days

Overall, the duration of furlough and PLP 2 programs depends on the employer’s objectives and financial situation. While furloughs are typically short-term measures that can provide immediate cost savings, PLP 2 is usually a longer-term approach to address ongoing financial challenges.

Pay and benefits during furlough and PLP 2

Both furloughs and PLP 2 are cost-cutting measures that employers use in difficult situations that may impact their bottom line. However, there are some key differences between the two, especially when it comes to pay and benefits.

  • Furloughs: Employees who are put on furlough are usually not paid for the duration of their absence. This means that they also don’t accrue benefits while they are on furlough. Some employers may offer partial pay or benefits during furlough periods, but this is not common.
  • PLP 2: With PLP 2, employees have their work hours reduced by a specific amount (usually one day per month). This means that their pay will also be reduced by the same amount. However, employees on PLP 2 still accrue full benefits as if they were working their usual hours. This is because they are still technically employed and working, just with fewer hours.
  • Impact on benefits: As mentioned above, furloughs don’t usually offer any benefits during the period of absence. This means that employees may lose out on accruals for PTO, retirement plans, and health insurance premiums. With PLP 2, however, employees still accrue benefits as usual, so there is no impact on their overall benefits package.

Overall, it’s important for employees to understand the differences between furloughs and PLP 2 when it comes to their pay and benefits. While both are used to cut costs, the impact on employee benefits can be vastly different between the two. Employers should communicate clearly with their employees about any cost-saving measures that may be implemented and what impact they may have on pay and benefits.

Furlough PLP 2
Pay Usually not paid Reduced by specific amount (usually one day per month)
Benefits Don’t usually accrue Accrue as usual

Understanding the nuances of furloughs and PLP 2 can help employees make informed decisions about their finances and overall benefits package during times of economic hardship.

Differences in Leave Accrual during Furlough and PLP 2

When it comes to leave accrual, furlough and PLP 2 have significant differences that need to be understood. In this section, we will explore these differences and how they can impact your leave balances and usage.

  • Furlough: During a furlough, employees do not earn any leave, including annual leave, sick leave, or compensatory time off (CTO). This means that your leave balances will remain the same during the furlough period, and you will not be able to use any leave during that time. However, you may be able to use your CTO balances if your agency allows it.
  • PLP 2: Under PLP 2, employees will continue to accrue leave at their normal rate, but with a reduction in pay. This means that your leave balances will continue to increase during the furlough period, albeit at a slower rate. However, you will still be able to use your accrued leave during this time.

It’s important to note that the accrual of leave during furlough or PLP 2 will depend on your employment status and the terms of your agency’s furlough or PLP 2 plan. Be sure to check with your HR representative or union representative for specific details about your agency’s furlough or PLP 2 policies.

To better understand the differences in leave accrual between furlough and PLP 2, let’s take a look at the table below:

Leave Type Furlough PLP 2
Annual Leave No accrual Accrual at normal rate
Sick Leave No accrual Accrual at normal rate
Compensatory Time Off (CTO) No accrual Accrual at normal rate

As you can see, there are clear differences in leave accrual between furlough and PLP 2. Whether you are subject to a furlough or PLP 2, it’s important to understand the impact on your leave balances and usage to plan accordingly.

Impact on retirement and other benefits during furlough and PLP 2

As an employee, one of the major concerns during a furlough or PLP 2 is the impact on retirement and other benefits. Below are some key points to consider:

  • During a furlough, employees may be required to take mandatory unpaid time off work. This can result in a reduction of hours worked, which can impact retirement benefits such as 401(k) contributions, profit-sharing, and pension plan credits. In addition, if the furlough extends for a period of time that equates to a full month of work or more, it may trigger a break in service for retirement plan purposes.
  • In the case of PLP 2, employees are required to take a reduction in pay in addition to unpaid time off. This can lead to a reduction in retirement plan contributions, as well as other benefits such as health insurance and disability coverage.

It’s important to understand the specific provisions of your company’s retirement and benefits plans, as well as any applicable laws or regulations, in order to fully understand the impact of a furlough or PLP 2 on your retirement and benefits.

In addition to retirement benefits, furloughs and PLP 2 can also impact other benefits such as:

  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Disability coverage
  • Vacation time and sick leave accruals

During a furlough or PLP 2, employers may require employees to pay a larger portion of health insurance premiums or temporarily suspend benefits altogether. This can create additional financial stress and impact an employee’s ability to plan for their future.

Below is a table summarizing the potential impact of furloughs and PLP 2 on retirement and other benefits:

Benefit Potential Impact of Furlough Potential Impact of PLP 2
401(k) and/or profit sharing Reduction in contributions Reduction in contributions
Pension plan Reduction in credits Reduction in credits
Health insurance Higher premiums or temporary suspension Higher premiums or temporary suspension
Life insurance No impact Reduced coverage or cancellation
Disability coverage Reduced coverage or cancellation Reduced coverage or cancellation
Vacation time and sick leave accruals Reduced accruals Reduced accruals

It’s important to remember that the impact of a furlough or PLP 2 will vary depending on an employee’s specific circumstances and the policies in place at their company. It’s always a good idea to consult with your HR department or a financial advisor to fully understand how a furlough or PLP 2 will impact your finances, retirement, and other benefits.

Alternatives to furlough and PLP 2 for budget cuts

Implementing furlough and PLP 2 are not the only options for organizations to save money amidst economic challenges. Here are some alternatives:

  • Reducing employee benefits: Encouraging employees to switch to a less expensive healthcare plan or reducing retirement benefits can save a lot of money while keeping everyone employed.
  • Cutting travel and training expenses: Reducing travel and training budgets can lead to significant cost savings without directly impacting employees’ salaries or schedules.
  • Introducing voluntary unpaid leave: Offer unpaid leaves to employees who wish to take time off without affecting their job security.

Although these alternatives may help to cut costs, they may not be enough for an organization to meet its desired budget goals. For instance, reducing employee benefits may negatively impact employee morale, resulting in lower productivity and increased turnover rates. Therefore, before implementing any budget cuts, it is crucial to consider their possible consequences.

It may be helpful to analyze the organization’s expenses to find areas where cuts will have the least impact. Conducting a comprehensive review of the company’s budget could help identify areas that could benefit from further streamlining.

Salary Reductions vs. Furlough and PLP 2

Salary reductions are another option for organizations looking to cut costs. One advantage of implementing a salary reduction rather than furlough or PLP 2 is that the work schedule of employees remains the same, and the organization can keep working at full capacity.

It is important to note that not all employees may be willing to accept a salary reduction. However, if a company is facing a financial crisis, salary reductions may be a better option than furlough or PLP 2, giving employees the opportunity to keep working while receiving a reduced salary.

The Bottom Line

Before taking drastic measures such as furlough, PLP 2, or salary reductions, organizations must consider alternatives that may create less impact on employees’ lives and the company culture. By taking a holistic approach to budget cuts, organizations can make targeted reductions that have minimal impact on employee morale, productivity, and job security while contributing to the organization’s financial stability.

Type of Budget Cut Impact on Employees Impact on Company
Furlough Reduced work hours and pay Reduced payroll costs
PLP 2 Reduced work hours and pay Reduced payroll costs
Reducing Employee Benefits Reduced benefits and morale Reduced expenses
Cutting Travel and Training Expenses No direct impact on employees Reduced expenses
Voluntary Unpaid Leave Unpaid leave and reduced pay Reduced payroll costs
Salary Reductions Reduced pay Reduced payroll costs

Organizations should weigh the pros and cons of each budget cut option and choose the one that best fits their unique situation. Ultimately, the goal should always be to make the best decision that will keep both the company and its workforce stable in the long run.

What is the difference between furlough and PLP 2?

1. What does furlough mean?
Furlough is a temporary leave of absence from work, which may or may not be paid.

2. What is PLP 2?
PLP 2 refers to Personal Leave Program 2, which is a mandatory program in some states to address budget shortfalls.

3. How are the two different?
Furlough is a temporary leave of absence, which can be paid or unpaid, while PLP 2 is a mandatory program that requires employees to take a certain amount of unpaid leave.

4. When are furloughs typically implemented?
Furloughs are usually implemented by organizations during an economic downturn, when cost-cutting measures are necessary.

5. Who is affected by PLP 2?
PLP 2 usually affects state employees, as it is implemented by the government to address budget shortfalls.

Closing Paragraph

Thanks for reading about the difference between furlough and PLP 2. Understanding these terms is important in today’s economic climate, as many organizations and governments are implementing cost-cutting measures. Remember to check back for more informative articles on workplace issues.