Ft. Benning civilian workers should plan to go to work - WRBL

Ft. Benning civilian workers should plan to go to work

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FORT BENNING, Ga. -

Civilian employees at Fort Benning should plan to report to work Thursday morning if Congressional lawmakers pass a resolution to reopen the government, a public affairs official with the post tells WRBL News 3. Workers could expect calls in the morning to confirm their needed attendance.

Around 8 p.m. et Wednesday night, the Senate had passed a resolution to reopen the federal government and avoid a debt default. With two hours to go until the midnight deadline on the debt ceiling, the House was still debating the bill. President Obama has promised to sign the bill immediately once its passage.

Earlier Wednesday Fort Benning officials also said civilian employees who had been furloughed but previously recalled to work should report to work Thursday regardless of the situation regarding the nation's debt. Without a bill to reopen the federal government, those still on active furlough would remain off work.

"The Assistant Secretary of the Army has advised that the Pay Our Military Act is both an authorization and an appropriation," a statement from Fort Benning reads. "This means the failure to increase the United States' Debt Ceiling... will not trigger the need to furlough employees again."

On October 1, all civilian employees are Fort Benning were furloughed because of the federal government shutdown. On October 7, a thousand of those employees were called back to work.

All Fort Benning employees affected by the furlough are still owed pay from the end of September. Those employees will be receiving checks for those hours worked - up to a maximum of 48 hours - on Thursday.

Furloughed civilian employees recalled October 7 will receive regular payment for hours work on Thursday.

All other civilian employees still on active furlough are expected to receive back pay after an appropriation bill is passed by Congress and approved by the president. A day for that payment is not yet known.

Some employees will notice that their Leave and Earning Statement reflects no accrual of leave or sick leave for the pay period ending Oct. 5. The reason is that employees who had 48 hours of administrative furlough time earlier this year due to the Sequestration and who were not recalled from furlough prior to 6 Oct 13, hit 80 hours of non-pay status as a result of the emergency shutdown furlough during the pay period ending Oct. 5, 2013. Based on application of the government- wide rules, when an employee reaches 80 hours of non-pay status, he or she does not earn annual leave or sick leave for that pay period.

When the employees in this situation are retroactively paid for their time in furlough status, the leave balances will be adjusted. This will happen after legislation providing for retroactive pay has not been passed by the Senate and signed by the President.

James Brierton

James joined WRBL News 3 with experience from CNN, NBC News and his own hyper-local news site. He manages the WRBL News 3 Web desk. More>>

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