How government shutdown affects Navy civilian employees

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks to sailors and Department of Defense civilian employees at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast during a tour of Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks to sailors and Department of Defense civilian employees at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast during a tour of Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

If Congress does not approve a spending bill — appropriated funds for fiscal year 2014 — or a Continuing Resolution, the potential government shutdown could result in unplanned shutdown furloughs for civilian employees.

1. What is a shutdown furlough and how does it differ from an administrative furlough?

Unlike an administrative furlough, which occurred during the summer of 2013, a shutdown furlough is unplanned. A shutdown furlough may occur when an agency no longer has the funds necessary to operate and must shut down those activities that are not excepted. Some civilian personnel may be excepted from furlough and may be directed to work. Shutdown furloughs are considered emergency furloughs — conversely, administrative furloughs are planned events.

2.  What does a shutdown furlough mean for me — do I still come to work on Oct. 1?

If a government shutdown occurs, all Department of the Navy personnel would still report to work on their next scheduled duty day, beginning at their normal hours, where they will conduct an orderly shutdown.

3. Who is excepted and who is not?

A.  Only the minimum number of civilian employees necessary to carry out excepted activities will be excepted from the furlough. DoD excepted categories include the following:

Protection of life and property, national security

Safety of persons and protection of property

Medical/dental care

Acquisition and logistic support

Education and training necessary to participate in or support excepted activities

Legal activities associated with imminent legal action as required by law or necessary to support excepted activities

Audit and investigation community

Morale welfare and recreation/non-appropriated funds to support excepted activities

Financial management in support of excepted activities and management of working capital funds

Working capital fund/other revolving funds with positive cash balances

Sexual Assault Prevention Response

NOTE: Positions that provide direct support to excepted functions may also be deemed excepted if they are critical to performing the excepted activity

Based on planning in 2011, about 40% of the Department of the Navy’s workforce is working capital funded and would be excepted from the furlough.

4. Will I be paid for the next pay period? On time?

During a lapse of appropriated funds, we cannot pay our excepted employees until after an appropriations bill is approved — even if they have been directed to work.

Civilians on emergency/shutdown furloughs would be paid retroactively only if a law is enacted providing authority to retroactively pay them.

5.  What happens if I am scheduled to be on annual leave during the furlough?

During a shutdown furlough, all scheduled leave (e.g., annual leave, sick leave) is canceled for all excepted and non-excepted employees during a shutdown furlough. Absences during the furlough may not be charged to leave – excepted employees unable to report to duty, due to illness, jury duty, etc., must be placed in a furlough status (i.e., non-duty, non-pay).

NEX, Navy Lodge

The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) announced Monday that NEXs and Navy Lodges worldwide will remain open.

“NEXs and Navy Lodges are non-appropriated funded activities and therefore will not be affected by any government shut down,” said retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, chief executive officer, NEXCOM. “Customers can still purchase the products and services they need at any NEX around the world. At this time, our stores will continue to operate at their normal hours and our Navy Lodges will remain open for our military families.”

NEXCOM’s mission is to provide quality goods and services at a savings and to support Navy quality of life programs.


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