5@5 What Do I Need to Know About Civilian Furloughs?

As you most likely know, Department of Defense fiscal challenges require the administrative furloughs of civilian employees. These civilian shipmates play a critical role in keeping the Navy and Marine Corps team operating forward to protect American interests around the world. 

Navy leadership recognizes the impact furloughs will have on the workforce and their families. We are committed to keeping our talented and dedicated civilian workforce informed.

As a part of that commitment, we asked for questions on the Navy’s Facebook page earlier this week about upcoming civilian furloughs. Below are some of those questions and our responses.

Rigger Rick Howard, right, and ammunition handler Joseph Sprague, members of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic, load crates of ammunition aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) in Yorktown, Va., April 18, 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Chase/Released)

Rigger Rick Howard, right, and ammunition handler Joseph Sprague, members of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic, load crates of ammunition aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) in Yorktown, Va., April 18, 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Chase/Released)

 

Are there any furloughs that will last longer than 11 days?
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel directed 11 furlough days. He indicated, if the budgetary situation allowed the department to end the furloughs early, he would be inclined to do so.

Can employees substitute annual leave for their furlough time?
No, employees may not use annual leave, comp time earned or sick leave to replace the furlough days.

With sequestration already taking its toll, who will fill the positions of those being furloughed?

No one will replace civilians while they are furloughed. The furlough not only results in the 20 percent loss of a civilian’s salary from July 8 through the end of the fiscal year, but also will impact operations and productivity.

Are contractors being hired to replace furloughed civilian workers?

Budget submitting office commanders may not use contractors or service members to replace civilians who are furloughed. Additionally and aside from the furlough, contractors are not permitted to perform inherently governmental functions. Further, given the budget reductions as a result of sequestration, many commands have had to make cuts in their contracts and also have been directed to review all current contracts.

Other than “Navy shipyard workers, nuclear maintenance workers, and those stationed in combat zones,” what other civilian Department of Defense occupations will be exempt from being furloughed?

About 78 percent of the workforce is subject to the furlough with exceptions (in addition to those stated):

  • Child care workers to meet regulatory requirements
  • Employees at sea
  • Employees paid by Foreign Military Sales trust fund
  • Employees fully funded by the National Intelligence Program funds
  • Medical employees needed to provide 24-hour in patient care
  • Nuclear reactor response teams
  • Those responsible for 24-hour life and property
  • Employees needed for 24-hour sexual assault prevention response

Will civilians be furloughed next year too?
The furloughs are planned only for FY13.

As we said above, we’re committed to keeping our workforce informed. Civilian employees are encouraged to discuss concerns with their supervisors. 

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