A formal sequestration furlough notice sent by the Justice Department ahead of across-the-board budgets cuts was posted online by a lawmaker on Friday.
“We recognizethe difficult personal financial implications" of forced unpaid leave, Justice told assistant U.S. attorneys in the Feb. 20 notice. “This furlough is necessitated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which require sequestration of federal agencies’ funds in the event Congress does not take alternative measures to reduce the federal budget deficit by specified amounts.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, made the notice available, saying House Republicans have refused a vote on Democrats’ alternative plan to sequestration.
The notice described furlough as a nonpay, nonduty status. “Also, during the furlough, you will not be permitted to serve as an unpaid volunteer and must remain away from your workplace,” it said.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., held up the notice at a press conference Friday, calling sequestration cuts “brutal, senseless and mindless.”
The letter tells employees they will be furloughed no more than 14 work days, or 112 hours.
In addition to the Justice Department, the National Labor Relations Board has already sent formal furlough notices to employees, triggering the 30-day warning period until actual furloughs may begin.