Furlough Letters on the Way for DoD Workers

Mike O'Brien

Most of the 800,000 civilian employees of the Department of Defense should expect to receive furlough notices in the next few days.

The proposal letters will say workers face losing about a month’s worth of pay between April and the end of September, when FY 2013 ends.

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It is unclear how many workers will be furloughed but the cuts are across the board, so most departments will be affected.

The letters are due to go out on Friday with the last deliveries by Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesman said.

Defense Department Comptroller Robert Hale said workers exempt from the notices include those working in combat zones, those "who are required to maintain safety of life or property" and a small number of leading defense officials who were confirmed by the Senate.

But in reality some emergency workers, including firefighters and medical staff, will be affected by the cuts. No military members, however, will be furloughed.

In keeping with federal law, after the notices go out there will be a 30-day waiting period, with the furloughs starting on April 26, Stripes.com reports.

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The furloughs will involve shortened working weeks, smaller paychecks and less contributions to retirement accounts. They are expected to save about $5 billion.

Employees will have one week in which to appeal against the furlough notice, though the chance of successfully appealing are thought to be slim.

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