WASHINGTON, April 25 (UPI) -- U.S. Justice Department employees will not face furloughs this fiscal year, escaping the fate of other government employees, Attorney General Eric Holder said.
About 116,000 Justice Department employees received notice Wednesday from the attorney general that they would not be forced to take up to 22 unpaid days that they were previously warned about, The Washington Post reported.
Holder said that the Justice Department took "aggressive steps" to cut costs since the budget cuts known as sequestration took effect, allowing him to avoid furloughs for the department.
"This action means that thousands of critical FBI and ATF agents, deputy U.S. marshals, prosecutors and other department employees will remain on the job protecting national security, fighting violent crime and enforcing our laws," Holder wrote.
However, Holder told the employees that if sequestration continues into the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1, "furloughs are a distinct possibility."