FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – As the news of Bitwise, the Fresno-headquartered co-working and tech incubator firm, furloughing their entire workforce has spread across the Central Valley, it’s leaving many worried about what comes next.

What does furlough mean and can furloughed employees receive unemployment benefits?

Furlough, sometimes referred to as a temporary layoff, is a mandatory leave of absence imposed by an employer.

So how does a furlough work? Typically, a company will give employees advance notice of a furlough. But once furloughed, employees generally do not continue to get paid.

According to the office of Assemblyman Jim Patterson, furloughed employees can file for unemployment. Patterson’s office says that despite a previous backlog with COVID-19, the wait time for EDD benefits is significantly better now than it was.

Assemblyman Patterson’s office also says that any Bitwise employees looking to get unemployment benefits should file online for benefits, and complete the identity verification process.

Assemblyman Patterson’s office also says if anyone has any issues at all with EDD or has any issues about the process, they should call their state Assemblyman or Senator’s office immediately. 

Bitwise, which has offices throughout the country, has trained more than 5,000 people across California alone and found more than 80% of them technical employment.

According to the Fresno County Tax Collector’s Office, the company owes over $122,000 in back property taxes on multiple Fresno properties.