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Furlough raises questions on civilian leave, pay

WASHINGTON -- Only those Defense Department civilians recalled from furlough under the Pay Our Military Act may take annual and sick leave, a Pentagon spokesman said here today.

"Employees who remain on furlough are in a nonpay, nonduty status, so there is no leave to take," Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen explained.

So a civilian employee who had leave planned and is now furloughed can still take that vacation. It will not count as leave as long as the furlough lasts.

Once the president signs an appropriation or Congress passes a continuing resolution, furloughed employees will report back to work. Further legislation is necessary for employees to receive retroactive pay for days lost to the shutdown. If that happens, employees will be paid for the furlough time, and will not be charged for any leave that had been approved for days that became furlough days.

On DOD civilian pay, the situation is a bit different. The next civilian pay date is Oct. 11, and under the Pay Our Military Act, Defense Department civilians will receive paychecks. Excepted employees - those who continued to work - will receive the full 80 hours of pay. Those furloughed will receive 48 hours of pay for the pay period covered by that payday, up and to and including Sept. 30. Furloughed employees will receive pay for the four hours they worked Oct. 1 to implement the orderly shutdown once there a new appropriation or continuing resolution is in effect.

DOD civilian employees called back to work Oct. 7 will receive their paychecks for the current pay period Oct. 25.
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