10 Things You Should Know If You Have Been Furloughed Due to the Government Shutdown:

1.    When the government shutdown ends, you will not necessarily get paid for the time you were furloughed. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has stated “Congress will determine whether furloughed employees receive pay for the furlough period.”

2.    You cannot volunteer to work.  The Antideficiency Act, which provides the legal rules governing government operations during a shutdown, prevents nonexcepted federal employees from performing any job-related functions during a shutdown.

3.    You cannot use annual leave or other paid time off instead of being furloughed.  Paid time off creates a debt obligation that is not authorized by the Antideficiency Act if no appropriation has been made.  This includes previously scheduled paid leave.  “The requirement to furlough supersedes leave and other paid time off rights,” according to OPM. 

4.    Your health insurance coverage will continue.  Even if an agency does not make premium payments on time, employees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program will be covered.  Because furloughed employees enrolled in the FEHB program will be in nonpay status, the enrollee share of the FEHB premium will accumulate and be withheld from pay upon return to pay status.

5.    Payments into your federal retirement plan accounts cease when you enter nonpay status. Employee contributions into the Thrift Savings Plan must come from payroll deductions, so furloughed employees cannot make payments into their plans. Agencies are also prohibited from matching contributions into their employees’ plans during this time. These contributions could be retroactively paid if Congress decides to issue back pay.

6.    Your years of service toward your retirement will not be affected by a short-term government shutdown. You are allowed leave without pay for six months in a year before it would be considered a break in service.

7.    You should not use any government-provided information technology, including laptops and cell phones, except to intermittently check for updates on furlough or recall (return to work) status. The Antideficiency Act prevents nonworking federal employees from performing any job-related functions during a shutdown if the government cannot pay for it.

8.    You may be entitled to unemployment compensation depending on your state’s unemployment compensation requirements. Find out about the requirements in your state here.

9.    You need to be careful getting a second job. You are still an employee of the federal government, therefore executive branch-wide standards of ethical conduct and rules regarding outside employment continue to apply when you are furloughed.

10.    You can take action to pressure Congress to end the shutdown. Call your members of Congress using NARFE’s toll-free number, 1-800-456-8410 option 5, or send them an email by clicking here to tell them to end the shutdown and send our federal employees back to work.

National Active and Retired

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES Association

NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.

10 Things You Should Know If You Have Been Furloughed Due to the Government Shutdown:

1.    When the government shutdown ends, you will not necessarily get paid for the time you were furloughed. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has stated “Congress will determine whether furloughed employees receive pay for the furlough period.”

2.    You cannot volunteer to work.  The Antideficiency Act, which provides the legal rules governing government operations during a shutdown, prevents nonexcepted federal employees from performing any job-related functions during a shutdown.

3.    You cannot use annual leave or other paid time off instead of being furloughed.  Paid time off creates a debt obligation that is not authorized by the Antideficiency Act if no appropriation has been made.  This includes previously scheduled paid leave.  “The requirement to furlough supersedes leave and other paid time off rights,” according to OPM. 

4.    Your health insurance coverage will continue.  Even if an agency does not make premium payments on time, employees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program will be covered.  Because furloughed employees enrolled in the FEHB program will be in nonpay status, the enrollee share of the FEHB premium will accumulate and be withheld from pay upon return to pay status.

5.    Payments into your federal retirement plan accounts cease when you enter nonpay status. Employee contributions into the Thrift Savings Plan must come from payroll deductions, so furloughed employees cannot make payments into their plans. Agencies are also prohibited from matching contributions into their employees’ plans during this time. These contributions could be retroactively paid if Congress decides to issue back pay.

6.    Your years of service toward your retirement will not be affected by a short-term government shutdown. You are allowed leave without pay for six months in a year before it would be considered a break in service.

7.    You should not use any government-provided information technology, including laptops and cell phones, except to intermittently check for updates on furlough or recall (return to work) status. The Antideficiency Act prevents nonworking federal employees from performing any job-related functions during a shutdown if the government cannot pay for it.

8.    You may be entitled to unemployment compensation depending on your state’s unemployment compensation requirements. Find out about the requirements in your state here.

9.    You need to be careful getting a second job. You are still an employee of the federal government, therefore executive branch-wide standards of ethical conduct and rules regarding outside employment continue to apply when you are furloughed.

10.    You can take action to pressure Congress to end the shutdown. Call your members of Congress using NARFE’s toll-free number, 1-800-456-8410 option 5, or send them an email by clicking here to tell them to end the shutdown and send our federal employees back to work.

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FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
Association



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NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.