Friday furlough decisions loom
Published: March 14, 2013
WASHINGTON – The decision on who gets furloughed is drawing nigh.
Friday is the Pentagon’s self-imposed deadline to decide which Defense Department civilians will take 22 unpaid days off – one day each week starting in late April – and which will remain on the job.
Employees who are to be furloughed should receive letters informing them between March 22 and 26, defense officials say. Those deemed exempt from furlough will receive no notification.
The furloughs are the result of automatic budget cuts that were triggered on March 1, slashing $46 billion out of the current year’s budget because of Congress’ inability to agree on a deficit-cutting plan.
The Pentagon has said all along that most employees will suffer the 20 percent pay cut and accompanying hit to leave and retirement contributions that the furloughs will cause while they’re in effect.
Only a small handful of Senate-confirmed political appointees and those whose jobs are necessary to preserve life and property will remain on the job, officials say. Even some workers in hospitals, fire departments and maintenance crews and other vital functions could be furloughed as their organizations institute minimum staffing.