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Bipartisan House Group Asks Pentagon to Explain Civilian Furlough Policy

PentagonA bipartisan House of Representatives group has asked the Pentagon to clarify its reasons for imposing furloughs on civilian employees who work for entities funded by working capital funds, GovExec reported Wednesday.

Kellie Lunney writes a group of 31 House lawmakers wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asking if the agency considers those workers as “indirectly funded” Pentagon employees under the law.

“If so, we further request an explanation of the legal justification the department is using to impose furloughs on these civilian workers, despite the explicit protections afforded them,” they wrote.

According to the report, the lawmakers want to know how furloughs of these civillian employees across the Defense Department would address funding shortfalls given that their units don’t operate on Congressional funding.

The department intends to furlough 650,000 civilian workers for 11 days between July 8 and September 30, resulting in a 20 percent pay reduction.

“We are concerned that, in addition to the loss of pay these civilian employees now face and the subsequent impact this will have on our local communities, moving forward with these furloughs will reduce the ability of our civilian workforce to complete workload which is already funded,” the lawmakers added.

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