Published: Mar 19, 2013 11:25 PM EDT

WASHINGTON, DC- The Pentagon will start sending furlough notices to employees this Friday.

Workers will be forced to stay at home on unpaid leave for 22 days, or one day each week, from April 21st through September 21st. That's equal to a 20-percent pay cut for five months.

The furloughs will affect most of the Defense Department's 800-thousand civilian employees. The unpaid days off are the result of the forced federal spending cuts that began to kick in March first.