OVERVIEW (Link to FULL PDF)
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has prepared human resources guidance for agencies and employees on shutdown furloughs (also called emergency furloughs). A shutdown furlough occurs when there is a lapse in annual appropriations. Shutdown furloughs 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.
NOTE: This guidance applies to activities that are funded by annual appropriations. Some agency functions have alternative funding sources and, as a result, are not directly affected by a lapse in annual appropriations. Employees performing those functions will generally continue to be governed by the normal pay, leave, and other civil service rules. Agencies should consult with their legal counsel if they have further questions concerning this distinction. Employees should consult with their Human Resources office.
Side note to add found on page 29 last paragraph:
What information should be included in the notice of decision of a shutdown furlough when no advance notice is issued?
A. The notice must specify the reason for the furlough and state that the usual 30 calendar days advance notice was not possible due to the emergency requiring curtailment of agency operations. If some employees in a competitive level will not be furloughed because they are performing one of the excepted activities defined by OMB standards, OPM recommends a statement such as the following:
“If employees are being retained in your competitive level, they are required for orderly suspension of agency operations, or they are performing one of the excepted activities defined by law.”
Also found on page 31 last paragraph:
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.
NOTE: Reductions in force (RIF) furlough regulations and SES competitive furlough requirements are not applicable to emergency shutdown furloughs because the ultimate duration of an emergency shutdown furlough is unknown at the outset and is dependent entirely on Congressional action, rather than agency action. The RIF furlough regulations and SES competitive furlough requirements, on the other hand, contemplate planned, foreseeable, money-saving furloughs that, at the outset, are planned to exceed 30 days.