Administration lawyers OK return of furloughed civilian Pentagon workers

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The Pentagon on Sunday called back to work most of its roughly 400,000 civilian employees, based on administration lawyers’ legal interpretation of the recent government slimdown.

The order was given by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, five days after roughly 800,000 federals workers were sent home after Congress failed to reach a deal to fund the government.

Hagel said the decision to recall the workers is based on a Pentagon legal interpretation of a law called the Pay Our Military Act.

The measure was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama shortly before the slimdown began.

“Attorneys concluded that the law does allow the Department of Defense to eliminate furloughs for employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members,” Hagel said in a written statement. “This has been a very disruptive year for our people … .Many important activities remain curtailed while the shutdown goes on.”

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