When an agency conducts a significant job reduction for reasons such as reorganization, lack of work or shortage of funds, it must use formal reduction-in-force procedures published by the Office of Personnel Management. A furlough—unpaid, forced time off from work—of more than 30 calendar days, or of more than 22 discontinuous work days, is also a RIF action.

An agency’s failure to follow procedures can be challenged, typically before the Merit Systems Protection Board or through a negotiated grievance process.

A furlough of 30 or fewer calendar days, or of 22 or fewer discontinuous work days, is an “adverse action” and may be appealable to the MSPB or through a negotiated grievance process.