Federal shutdown brings layoff letters, recalls for some Minnesota workers

State officials notified 105 employees in the Minnesota Department of Health today of potential layoffs due to the federal government shutdown.

Three-week notifications of potential layoffs are required under state employee contracts. Minnesota Management and Budget officials said the affected employees are supported by federal funds and could be laid off if the federal government shutdown does not end before state funds are exhausted.

The letter sent to workers stressed that  the “unfortunate action is entirely due to lack of funds and reflects no discredit on your service or job performance.”

MMB also said the duration of the layoff is expected to be short-term, and the workers will get their jobs back when the federal shutdown is over.

More letters could be on the way. MMB Commissioner Jim Schowalter said last week that the jobs of 3,000 state workers rely on some federal funds.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota National Guard is bringing back nearly all of the technical workers that were furloughed last week.

Army Lt. Col. Jon J. Lovald, Minnesota National Guard Director of Human Resources, announced the recall today.

“As a result of the interpretation of the Pay Our Military Act by the U.S. Departments of Defense and Justice, the Minnesota National Guard has recalled nearly all of the more than 1,200 full-time federal technicians furloughed on Oct. 1 due to the federal government shutdown,” Lovald said in a statement. “Four federal technicians remain furloughed until the shutdown ends or until notice of recall by the Dept. of Defense.”

Lovald also emphasized that the shutdown will not get in the way of citizen soldiers and airmen responding to any emergencies.