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National Guard withdraws furlough notices sent early by mail

 

The National Guard is withdrawing furlough notices it mailed to employees from 21 states last week.

The Defense Department planned to issue furlough notices to most of its civilian workers on Friday because of the automatic spending cuts that took effect on March 1.

But the Pentagon announced Thursday that it would delay its notices until April 5 while it determines how Congress’s short-term funding plan, which awaits President Obama’s signature, might affect unpaid leave.

Nonetheless, some states had already arranged for furlough notices to reach Guard employees by mail on Friday.

The National Guard Bureau has rescinded the notices, and state adjutants general, who oversee National Guard operations, are working to alert employees of the withdrawal, according to bureau spokesman Jon Anderson.

The government must provide 30 days notice before furloughing employees in many cases, and mail can be the best way to reach some of them, according to Anderson.

“Not everyone is in one area with easy access,” Anderson said, noting that some employees are stationed in theaters of operation overseas.

The Pentagon clarified on Friday that the Defense Department had not authorized the release of furlough notices.

The department still expects to furlough employees for up to 22 days, “but no decisions have been reached,” according to Commander Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

 

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Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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