EEOC cancel further furloughs after employees take five unpaid days

July 12, 2013

The federal agency that enforces workplace discrimination laws has cancelled a second planned round of employee furloughs to meet the budget cuts required by sequestration.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has required its staff to take off five unpaid days between April 22 and July 2. A second phase would have added three more days.

EEOC Chairwoman Jacqueline Berran told employees in a memo Thursday that a second round of furloughs would not be necessary; she did not specify where the agency will find the savings to avert unpaid days.

The decision came after an aggressive campaign by the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents the EEOC and urged the agency to cancel the furloughs.

“We applaud the EEOC for making the right decision,” Gabrielle Martin, president of  AFGE’s  National Council of EEOC Locals No. 216, said in a statement. “Furloughs harm the public, harm EEOC employees and their families, and harm the communities in which they reside.”

The union has warned that additional furloughs in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 will aggravate the agency’s backlog over more than 70,000 discrimination complaints.

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Lisa Rein | July 12, 2013