The Pentagon is ordering most of its approximately 400,000 furloughed civilian employees back to work.
The decision by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is based on a Pentagon legal interpretation of a law called the Pay Our Military Act.
That measure was passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama shortly before the partial government shutdown began Tuesday.
The Pentagon did not immediately say on Saturday exactly how many workers will return to work. The Defense Department said "most" were being brought back.
The law ensured that members of the military, who have remained at work throughout the shutdown, would be paid on time. It also left room for the Pentagon to keep on the job those civilians who provide support to the military.