Number of Furloughed Workers Just Got Cut in Half
Pentagon ordering about 400K back to work
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2013 1:52 PM CDT
In a file photo, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel observes military training in South Korea.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

(Newser) – About half of the 800,000 federal workers furloughed this week because of the government shutdown were civilians who worked for the Defense Department. And now the Pentagon is ordering most of them back to work on Monday, reports the AP. Defense chief Chuck Hagel says he can make the move thanks to legislation that passed just before the shutdown began. The main purpose of the Pay Our Military Act was to ensure that troops would get paid during the impasse, but it also gave the Pentagon leeway to keep aboard civilians who provide support to the military.

Defense department lawyers have concluded that they can get away with bringing back the whole lot of them, or close to it. "I'm not a lawyer, but I do have some appreciation for common sense, and common sense tells you that if you're working for the Department of Defense, you're supporting the defense and the security of America, and you're supporting those who are on the front lines," said Hagel before the move was announced, reports the Wall Street Journal. More specifics are expected through the weekend. Meanwhile, legislation to make sure that all furloughed employees will collect back pay is speeding along on Capitol Hill.

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Oct 6, 2013 2:39 PM CDT
Oct 6, 2013 2:16 PM CDT
The reported 800k civil servants furloughed did not include these civilians. These are half of the 800k "civilian" employees of the DoD. As a civilian contractor supporting NASA I can assure you that the numbers of "federal" employees is misleading in that it does not include any of us contractors (which probably out number the number of "federal" employees). So don't be surprised when the next "Unemployment Rate" hits and it is much larger than many people expect.
Oct 6, 2013 2:01 PM CDT
F*ck'em Let them go without pay. They are getting a paid vacation. There is going to be so many people scamming the system, Who are on their paid vacations, and those who claim that they should be compensated for back pay. For What???? No need for back pay if they didn't work. F*ck'em that is the way the government / USA / Capitalism was forged. Why should the taxpayer foot the bill for the ineptness of the government????