In Focus: How Many Employees Face Furloughs?

In Focus: How Many Employees Face Furloughs?

Federal agencies decide which employees to furlough and which to keep on the job during a government shutdown. Excepted employees include workers “who are performing emergency work involving the safety of human life or the protection of property or performing certain other types of excepted work,” according to furlough guidance from the Office of Personnel Management. In other words, they aren’t furloughed. Employees who are not funded through annual appropriations are “exempt” from unpaid leave if the government shuts down.

How many employees an agency furloughs during a government shutdown varies, and tends to depend on mission. In some departments, like Veterans Affairs, most of the workforce stays on the job. At the Housing and Urban Development Department, however, the opposite is true: most employees are furloughed.

If the government closes on Tuesday because of a lapse in appropriations, roughly 800,000 civilian employees will go on unpaid leave. Here’s a snapshot of a few agencies and their workforce data from 2011, the last time agencies had to prepare contingency plans for a possible shutdown. The list of agencies and corresponding data are not comprehensive.


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Shutdown could carry pay risk even for employees kept on the job

Shutdown could carry pay risk even for employees kept on the job

By Eric Yoder, Published: September 27 at 6:00 amE-mail the writer

eye-opener-logo6Those federal employees who are learning that they would be kept on the job in a partial government shutdown might be feeling pretty good, at least relative to those being told they would be furloughed.

While employees deemed “excepted” from a shutdown furlough would not be paid at first for their work during that period, the government at least has promised to make them whole once new funding is in place.

But they might want to take steps to assure they are feeling well in addition to feeling good, because if they become too sick to work during a shutdown they would face the same uncertainty over their pay for the time off work as those who are furloughed.

(Wikimedia Commons)

(Wikimedia Commons)

That’s one of the twists emerging as federal agencies delve into the potential impact of carrying out a partial shutdown beginning Tuesday for what would be the first time in nearly 18 years. Continue reading “Shutdown could carry pay risk even for employees kept on the job”

EEOC Avoids Second Round of Furloughs

EEOC Avoids Second Round of Furloughs

Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Jacqueline Berrien
Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Jacqueline Berrien Charles Dharapak/AP File Photo

Employees at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will not face a second round of furlough days this fiscal year, the agency announced on Thursday.

EEOC has already required workers to take five days of unpaid leave due to budget cuts under sequestration; its chief financial officer concluded an additional three days would not be necessary, Chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien said in a July 11 all-staff memorandum. Continue reading “EEOC Avoids Second Round of Furloughs”

EEOC Considers New Wave of Furloughs

EEOC Considers New Wave of Furloughs

Ken Tannenbaum/

Employees at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may face a new round of furloughs, and the union that represents them is pushing back.

EEOC has already implemented its first phase of furloughs because of sequestration budget cuts, requiring employees to take five days of unpaid leave. The agency, which employs about 2,200 workers, is now assessing whether it needs to institute a second round.

In an effort to head off additional furloughs, the American Federation of Government Employees has asked its members to write to EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien to “share their personal stories of the harmful effects of furloughs on their work and finances.” Continue reading “EEOC Considers New Wave of Furloughs”

No Furloughs at State

No Furloughs at State

State Department headquarters
State Department headquarters J. Scott Applewhite/AP File Photo

Add the State Department to the growing list of federal agencies that will not furlough any employees.

State will not require its workforce to take unpaid leave in fiscal 2013, the Associated Press has reported. Sequestration’s impact on the agency is less than half of what was originally anticipated, having to cut just $400 million rather than initial estimates of $850 million. Continue reading “No Furloughs at State”

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