Does the current shutdown = RIF in 23 or 31 days?

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Does the current partial shutdown and furloughs which started Dec 22 require RIF procedures after 23 non-contiguous furlough days (since there were shutdowns in Jan 2018 and March 2018) or does the 31 day continuous furlough period apply? Or is neither the case?

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Asked on January 9, 2019 2:22 am
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For your question, neither is the case. An administrative furlough is a planned event by an agency which is designed to absorb reductions necessitated by downsizing, reduced funding, lack of work, or any budget situation other than a lapse in appropriations. Furloughs that would potentially result from sequestration would generally be considered administrative furloughs. A shutdown furlough (also called an emergency furlough) occurs when there is a lapse in appropriations, and can occur at the beginning of a fiscal year, if no funds have been appropriated for that year, or upon expiration of a continuing resolution, if a new continuing resolution or appropriations law is not passed. In a shutdown furlough, an affected agency would have to shut down any activities funded by annual appropriations that are not excepted by law. Typically, an agency will have very little to no lead time to plan and implement a shutdown furlough. A Reduction in Force is when an agency must abolish positions, the RIF regulations determine whether an employee keeps his or her present position, or whether the employee has a right to a different position. The regulatory requirements governing reduction in force are contained in Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 351. OPM’s guidance on furloughs can be found at the following site https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/#url=Shutdown-Furlough

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Answered on January 9, 2019 3:31 pm

So what happens after 31 days? Do agencies send out another furlough notice? Or do RIF procedures start?

( at January 10, 2019 12:31 am)
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You should not have received a furlough notice with the shutdown furlough. Per the link I provided above, here is what documentation is required by the agency: Q. How is a shutdown furlough documented? A. Unlike an administrative furlough, agencies should not prepare an SF-50, “Notification of Personnel Action” (or a List Form of Notice for a group of employees who are to be furloughed on the same day or days each pay period) at the outset of a shutdown furlough. Instead, employees will receive a shutdown furlough notice citing the reasons for the furlough because the ultimate duration of a shutdown furlough is not known by agencies at the outset of the furlough. Once an appropriation has been signed by the President, agencies will be instructed on the appropriateness of preparing documentation consistent with Chapters 15 and 16 of The Guide to Processing Personnel Actions.

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Answered on January 10, 2019 1:06 am

My confusion lies on page 29 of the link you provided and some agency guidance that has gone out. From your link.
“Shutdown furloughs lasting more than 30 calendar days (22 workdays) are also covered by OPM regulations under 5 CFR part 752, adverse action procedures or 5 CFR part 359, subpart H, as applicable. When the shutdown furlough goes beyond 30 days, agencies should treat it as a second shutdown furlough and issue another adverse action or furlough notice.” I think it is the ambiguity of the words “furlough notice” that have me confused.

Some agency guidance (NOAA) that has gone out says that RIF procedures must be followed after 31 days (https://www.wfm.noaa.gov/pdfs/Shutdown%202019%20FAQs%2012-20-2018.pdf) . See the last page of the link.

( at January 10, 2019 2:25 pm)

I would add that since guidance and guidance and regulations supersede that I would be more inclined to believe that the RIF procedures will be followed as the guidance does not suggest and basis in regulation.

( at January 10, 2019 3:30 pm)
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This is a shutdown due to a lapse in appropriations. Please see page 2 of the link you provided regarding furlough notice: Q. For furloughs necessitated by lapsed appropriations (shutdown), is an agency required to provide 30 calendar days’ advance written notice and an opportunity to respond prior to issuing a decision to furlough?
A. No. OPM’s regulations provide for emergency furlough without the necessity for advance written notice proposing the action.

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Answered on January 10, 2019 3:38 pm
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Answered on January 11, 2019 9:53 pm