Federal employees remain covered by conflict of interest laws and other ethical restrictions if they are furloughed in a shutdown, the Office of Government Ethics said Monday.
Agencies should “remind their employees that they remain employees of the Federal Government during furlough periods . . . It is particularly important for employees to understand that ethics provisions regarding outside activities, including provisions regarding outside employment, will continue to apply to them while they are in a furlough status,” said a government-wide memo.
The notice from the central ethics office mirrors one sent in late March as furloughs due to sequestration began.
It says that employees who are sent home on unpaid leave “must continue to comply with all of the ethics laws and regulations, including the criminal conflict of interest laws” as well as government-wide and agency-specific rules.
The memos refer back to policy decisions made almost a decade ago saying that the restrictions continue to apply because furloughed employees are not separated from the civil service but rather are placed in non-duty, non-pay status.