SEATTLE — The U.S. Department of Defense has announced that it will reduce the number of required furlough days from 11 to six, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday. The move will impact hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.
The move could provide some financial relief to many Western Washington civilian employees at bases throughout the state who will not be forced into taking five additional unpaid work days. The furloughs were put in place July 8 as part of sequestration.
In a press release, Hagel said: “When I announced my decision on May 14 to impose furloughs of up to 11 days on civilian employees to help close the budget gap caused by sequestration, I also said we would do everything possible to find the money to reduce furlough days for our people. With the end of the fiscal year next month, managers across the DoD are making final decisions necessary to ensure we make the $37 billion spending cuts mandated by sequestration, while also doing everything possible to limit damage to military readiness and our workforce. … As part of that effort at the Department of Defense, I am announcing today that, thanks to the DoD’s efforts to identify savings and help from Congress, we will reduce the total numbers of furlough days for DoD civilian employees from 11 to six.”