Civilian Defense Department employees will face 11 days of furloughs that would begin as early as July 8, according to a statement that Defense Department Secretary Chuck Hagel released Tuesday.
The furloughs are likely to affect more than 20,000 of these employees in Washington state, according to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wa.
The furlough, which could be stretched through the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, are roughly half the number previously contemplated as the Defense Department has sought to deal with automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.
“If our budgetary situation permits us to end furloughs early, I would strongly prefer to do so,” Hagel said in the statement. “That is a decision I will make later this year.
Hagel said that exemptions to the furloughs would be “driven by law and by the need to minimize harm to the execution of core missions.”
At Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Tacoma, a spokesman said that more than 10,000 civilians employees could be hit with the furloughs.
At JBLM, Madigan Army Medical Center has a workforce of some 5,100 workers, with nearly 70 percent of them civilians and thus likely to face furloughs.