Bracing for Furloughs: DoD, Others Begin Detailed Sequester Planning

January 21, 2013

Federal agencies are girding for mass furloughs and other cutbacks as across-the-board budget reductions loom in barely a month.

“Hundreds of thousands” of employees face unpaid time off if those cuts take effect, Jeff Zients, acting chief of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a Jan. 14 memo.

Hiring freezes, laying off temporary workers and offering buyouts and early retirements are also on the table, Zients wrote. At the Defense Department, with a civilian workforce of almost 800,000, the Army, Navy and Air Force all announced hiring freezes and warned that furloughs were possible. Navy commanders, for example, should assume that one-day-per-week furloughs will begin the week of April 16 and continue through the end of the fiscal year in September, Rear Admiral J.P. Mulloy, deputy assistant secretary for budget, said in a memo.

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