How Labor prepares for shutdown

As the hours wind down to the midnight deadline, agencies are issuing contingency plans to prepare for a possible government shutdown. The Labor Department issued its plan Sept. 27, detailing a complete national and regional office staff guidance.

Out of the 16,304 department employees, 2,954 would be working during a lapse in appropriations. More than 80 percent of staff would be furloughed.

Several offices within Labor have zero excepted employees, including the Women’s Bureau and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. The Veterans Employment and Training Administration will scale back to one employee if the shutdown occurs.

Certain departments with the highest number of people “on board,” as Labor defines them, are furloughing nearly 100 percent of their workforce. The Wage and Hour Division is cutting 1,823 out of 1,829 staffers in a possible shutdown; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is furloughing 2,005 out of 2,235 workers; and the Bureau of Labor Statistics would go from 2,409 employees to three.


In the Office of Technology and Info, intermittent exceptions apply in the event of a shutdown; two IT specialists, two program analysts and two supervisory IT specialists would be required to work. The Employee Benefits Security Administration identified a minimal IT staff in the national office who will maintain Labor’s tech services if appropriations lapse. The staff will be responsible for ensuring all Labor email, local area network framework and various IT systems operate smoothly and support exempted employees.

In Labor’s inspector general office, 212 employees out of 392 would be furloughed. Out of the 180 staff excepted, 173 are involved with law enforcement.

M. Patricia Smith, solicitor of Labor, issued the memorandum after reviewing the 2011 memo regarding continuation of government activities during a lapse of appropriations. This plan is up to date based off census numbers submitted to Labor as recent as last week.

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