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 Shutdown/Emergency (UNPLANNED) Furloughs

A shutdown furlough is an unplanned or emergency event when there is a lapse in appropriations. A shutdown furlough is necessary when an agency no longer has the funds necessary to operate and must shut down those activities that are not excepted under the Antideficiency Act.

Federal employees may be familiar with these types of furloughs from instances in previous years in which the government has faced a potential shutdown. For additional information on shutdown furloughs see OPM’s guidance for shutdown furloughs related to potential lapse in appropriations at Shutdown furloughs are considered emergency furloughs – conversely, administrative furloughs are planned events.

Employees may be “excepted” from an unplanned furlough by law because they are (1) performing or supporting the performance of emergency work involving the safety of human life or the protection of property, (2) involved in the orderly suspension of agency operations, or (3) performing other functions exempted from the furlough. An “excepted” employee may be required to work in a non-pay status during the furlough period.

Additional information and previous guidance is available via the below links.

Department of the Navy

Office of Personnel Management

 Administrative (PLANNED) Furlough 2013

On August 6, SECDEF Hagel announced a reduction in the number of required furlough days from 11 days (88 hours) to six days (48 hours). For most employees, the furlough ended August 17 - if not completed by then, employees must conclude their furlough requirements by September 27, 2013.

On February 20, DoD notified Congress of a potential furlough of civilian employees in the event of sequestration. Sequestration (the Budget Control Act of 2011) began March 1 and requires extraordinary across-the-board budget reductions — approximately $4-5 billion. Because sequestration was triggered in March — nearly halfway through the fiscal year — the Department must absorb the additional cuts within a few months. The Department of the Navy (DON) has taken and will continue to take steps to address current and project budget reductions. Administrative furloughs are expected to be limited to no more than 88 hours (about 11 days) and may begin in July and extend through September 30.

With an administrative furlough, virtually all employees are subject to furlough unless they are covered by an approved exceptions furlough - about 78% of the employees will be impacted to include senior executives and employees in working capital fund organizations. In a furlough situation, employees are placed in a temporary nonduty, nonpay status because of lack of work or funds or other nondisciplinary reasons. Unlike past emergency or shutdown furloughs, an administrative furlough is a planned event designed to absorb reductions necessitated by downsizing, reduced funding, lack of work or any other budget situation other than a lapse in appropriations. Furloughs that would result from sequestration would generally be considered administrative furloughs. All approved exceptions have been documented and provided to BSO Commanders.

Generally, DoD and DON have excepted the following from the administrative furlough:

  1. Civilians deployed in combat zone
  2. Civilians responsible for safety of life or property – only to extent needed to prevent unacceptable risk or catastrophic gaps (mostly police, firefighters)
  3. Civilians funded 100% with non-appropriated funds
  4. Employees exempt by law (Presidential appointees not eligible for leave)
  5. Civilian mariners at sea
  6. Civilians providing 24-hour inpatient and emergency care
  7. Child care workers required to meet regulatory requirements
  8. Foreign nationals
  9. Civilians funded with National Intelligence Program (NIP) funds
  10. Shipyard workers

Additional Administrative Furlough Information