Department of Defense Announces Furloughs for Employees

Thousands of civilians working for the national Department of Defense were notified that they would be furloughed beginning this summer.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Defense announced Tuesday afternoon that due to "major budgetary shortfalls," on July 8 civilian workers would be furloughed for up to 11 days.

"I have made this decision very reluctantly, because I know that the furloughs will disrupt lives and impact DoD operations," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wrote in the release. "I, along with the senior civilian and military leadership of the Department, have spent considerable time reviewing information related to the need for furloughs, and I would like to share with you the reasoning that led me to this difficult decision."

According to the release, the department's budge for 2013 was reduced by $37 billion including $20 billion in the operation and maintenance accounts that pay the civilian workers affected. The release also went on to describe other shortfalls that drove the decision to furlough select employees such as:

- Fuel costs

- Wartime budget subject to sequestration

- Estimate of future wartime operating costs

"Taken together, all these factors lead to a shortfall in our O&M accounts of more than $30 billion- a level that exceeds 15 percent of our budget request, with fewer than six months left in the fiscal year in which to accommodate this dramatic reduction in available resources."

And even with the furloughs taking place this summer, the department is still short of needed operating funds. Further cutbacks may affect training and maintenance.

The schedule below describes the planning and implementation of the furloughs this summer:

- May 28-June 5: Furlough proposal notices will be served to individual employees subject to furloughs.

- June 4-June 12: Individual employee reply periods end 7 calendar days from when the proposal was received, unless Component procedures allow for a different reply period.

- June 5 -July 5: Furlough decision letters will be served to individual employees subject to furloughs, depending on when the proposal was received and prior to the first day of furlough.

- July 8: Furlough period begins no earlier than this date.