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The U.S. State Department Is Calling Furloughed Employees Back to Work

The U.S. State Department is calling furloughed employees back to work next week, with a promise to issue paychecks for at least the upcoming pay period.

“Recognizing the increasing hardship to employees caused by the ongoing lapse in appropriations, the Department is taking steps to make additional funds available to pay employee salaries,” Bill Todd, the deputy under secretary for management, wrote in the announcement.

As a result, employees are to resume work on the first day of the upcoming pay period (January 22 or January 20, depending on location), and will receive their check on time on February 14. Beyond this pay period, however, Todd said the department will “review balances and available legal authorities to try to cover future pay periods.”

“As a national security agency, it is imperative that the Department of State carries out its mission. We are best positioned to do so with fully staffed embassies, consulates, and domestic offices,” said Todd.

Whether they were furloughed or had to work, State Department employees will not be paid for the period between December 22, when the government shut down, and January 19.

Moreover, Todd said “bureaus and posts are expected to adhere to strict budget constraints with regard to new spending for contracts, travel, and other needs” due to the “lapse in appropriations” from the government shutdown.

About 800,000 federal employees are currently off the job, with a New York Times analysis estimating that most have missed $5,000 or more in wages as of Wednesday.