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Potential Lapse in Appropriations

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

(September 29, 2023) — NWSEO participated in a briefing this morning with OPM/OMB on the potential lapse in appropriations. There is still time for Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to avoid a costly shutdown and fund vital services. However, if Congress does not act, appropriations will lapse at 12 am on Sunday, October 1st.

Starting this afternoon agencies will begin to notify employees about their individual status, that is, whether or not they are furloughed, or excepted. If a lapse does continue to be likely OMB will release a memo around midnight on Saturday, directing agencies to begin an orderly shutdown. Once this memo is posted, agencies will begin issuing the formal furlough notices to employees which may happen over the weekend and into Monday. If a lapse does occur employees can wait until their next scheduled workday, which for many is Monday, before they begin to engage in orderly shutdown activities.

In the event of a lapse, Federal civilian paychecks for the pay period from September 10th-23rd will not be delayed. Along with this, for pay period 20, September 24th - October 7th you will only be paid for time worked up until the furlough was enacted. You will be paid for the 2nd week of pay period 20 once the furlough has ended. One important reminder, legislation was passed in 2019 that guarantees back pay for furloughed employees during the lapse in appropriation.

Should a shutdown furlough take effect, all leave will be canceled. If employees must be absent from duty they will be placed on furlough for that period. This must be coordinated through supervisors. Examples of this are employees on approved leave, those on approved parental leave, etc.

Detailed information including scenarios regarding employee coverage, work status schedules, leave, as well as the treatment of Federal employee benefit programs can be found on the OPM website: Furlough Guidance ( The current Up-to-date guidance for shutdown furloughs from December 2021 is posted on the OPM agency website. Any updates or addendums will be posted to this website as new issues arise and more in depth responses are needed.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update members accordingly.


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