Some owners just don’t get. Houston Rockets head honcho Tillman Fertitta, who oversees a restaurant, hotel, and casino empire as part of his vast portfolio of holdings, made the wrong kind of headlines when he furloughed 45,000 of his employees across multiple businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. And his explanation for the move was puzzling at best.
Furloughing isn't firing; it involves employees going unpaid without losing their jobs in hopes of a future return to normalcy. Furloughed workers can apply for and receive unemployment benefits. Fertitta, a billionaire, explained the decision on Fox News this week: “You are doing your people a favor if you get them furloughed first, because they they’re the first to the unemployment line," he said.