FAQ: Does My Agency Have to Furlough Me?

Question

“My Agency supplied a notice of intent to furlough employees across the board.  Do they have to furlough us or can they save money in other ways?”

Answer

No.  Your agency does not have to furlough you.  Instead, it chose to furlough you.  The agency may elect to reduce the agency budget in other ways instead of furloughing employees.  However, if the agency elects to implement furloughs, it is a decision that cannot be reversed as it retains sole authority.  A number of agencies subject to sequestration impact (not all agencies are affected) have elected to not furlough employees (or reduce salaries) and instead find cost savings through other means.  As of this date, these include:

  • Government Accountability Office
  • Government Printing Office
  • Department of Labor
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Small Business Administration
  • Treasury Department

It is important to note that while the final decision to furlough employees is reserved to your Agency, labor organizations can still try to persuade the Agency otherwise.  For example, the labor organization could provide incentives and conciliation to the Agency in other areas that might produce equivalent cost savings.

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