As a result of the current pandemic, many Federal employees are understandably concerned of job security and furloughs. While it may seem surprising that there is a “furlough” charge, such actions are taken under Chapter 75 procedures. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 7511(a),furlough means the placing of an employee in a temporary status without duties and pay because of a lack of work or funds or other non-disciplinary reasons.
It is important to note that a furlough of thirty (30) days or less is appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board as an adverse action under Chapter 75. A furlough of more than thirty (30) days is considered a Reduction-in-Force (“RIF”), which has its own procedures. However, while furloughs of thirty (30) days or less are taken without following RIF procedures, the action must still meet the standard of service efficiency.
As a result, a Federal agency proves, this charge by establishing that the furlough was taken to further service efficiency. An agency must provide evidence that: (1) the furlough was a reasonable management solution to the financial restrictions placed on it; and(2) the agency applied its determination as to which employees to furlough in a fair and even manner. A “fair and even manner” means that the agency applied the adverse action of furlough uniformly and consistently, and treats employees similarly.
The federal employee attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. are highly experienced in MSPB matters such as these, and are willing and able to assist you in your federal employment legal matters. Call or message us today to discuss your situation and learn how we can assist you.