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Federal furloughs: Would you check e-mail? Would you have a choice?

The latest attempt to squeeze savaings out of federal employees came in the form of a bill that would require agency employees to take 10 days off without pay in fiscal 2012. The furlough would not require employees to take off two weeks straight -- they can take one day a month during 10 of the 12 months of the year, for example -- but it does require losing a day's pay 10 times during the year.

The impact of this on employees would of course vary. For some feds in higher pay grades, or with spouses who also earn substantial incomes, it might be minor. For younger, lower-paid single federal employees, it could be very difficult.

But there's another question, raised by an anonymous reader who posted this comment: " In this age of expanded teleworking, what manager is not going to expect people to work from home even when furloughed? If I get furloughed, I am going to drop the BlackBerry on the boss's desk on my way out."

Another commenter. RayW, said the workload is too heavy to take time off even voluntarily. "I have a hard time using my PAID leave because of my work load," he wrote. " If I knew I had a week off without pay I would have to do overtime before and after to get my projects back on track since we are evaluated on FIRM dates of delivery, not sliding dates at the whim of some over-paid over-benefited lawmaker. So where is the savings when I am doing the hours in overtime to compensate for the time off?"

What about you? If you're required to take unpaid time off, will you still try to do some work? Check e-mail? Return calls? Work on documents? Will you take the day off completely off? Will your work suffer to the extent you'll need extra time to get it back in order?

Tell us in the comments.

Posted by Michael Hardy on Jan 20, 2011 at 12:18 PM


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