WASHINGTON, April 2, 2013 – In solidarity with the Defense Department’s 800,000 civilian employees facing furloughs, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he will voluntarily return part of his salary to the U.S. Treasury, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said here today.
Though furlough-exempt as a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed official, Hagel will commit to partial forfeiture over the 14-week furlough period, Little said at a Pentagon news conference.
Little said he hopes the recent change reducing the projected furloughs from 22 to 14 days brings some relief to the workforce, and he added that employees will remain informed of any further changes.
“We are obliged to give adequate notice to our civilian employees. … This is not something [in which] you get a notice one day and are furloughed the next,” he said. “We understand that we need to take great care with our civilian workforce.”
Little also reported that officials are reviewing analytics to assess the number of civilian employees they expect to have to furlough in the coming weeks.
Categories of exemption, he said, include civilians serving in a war zone, foreign nationals protected by the status of forces of agreement and other categories.
“This has been a troubling time for them and for our uniformed employees too, even though they’re exempt from furlough,” Little said.