Furloughs for Department of Defense civilian employees will begin April 26 unless Congress acts to end sequestration, said Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale said.
Hale said that department officials notified Congress on February 20 that it would implement furloughs if sequestration takes place, starting the clock on a 45-day waiting period needed for the furloughs to take effect.
“At the end of that period, we can send decisions of furloughs, and those furloughs can start,” Hale said.
When the formal notice is sent, civilian employees have the right to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
“We’ve never done this,” Hale said, “and I hope we never do. It’s not quite clear what this appeal right will be, but the appeal right is there.”
If Congress does not act on sequestration, later this month the department will send letters to the excepted employees and propose furloughs for the rest, Hale said. There is a seven-day period for people to reply to their letters, followed by a 30-day waiting period.