Feds feel shirked for shutdown work, sue for double pay


It’s not what you may be thinking…

From the Washington Times

Some federal workers who were required to remain on the job during the government shutdown said Monday that they have filed a lawsuit demanding double pay, arguing that the government’s failure to pay them on time is a violation of labor laws.

The five workers, all employed by the Bureau of Prisons and required to work during the shutdown, said their paychecks in early October didn’t include money for Oct. 1 through Oct. 5. The workers said that meant they didn’t earn the minimum wage for their work, and they also weren’t paid overtime — both of which are labor violations.

“The minimum wage applicable to essential employees is $7.25 per hour, or $290 for a 40-hour week,” the workers said in their lawsuit, filed in federal claims court late last month. “Many essential employees were paid less than $290 for work performed during the week.”
I actually agree fully with these workers. If they worked, they should have been paid on time. Same goes for any other federal employee who was deemed “essential” during the shutdown.

Not only do they have to endure the insult that “non-essential” employees were essentially given a 2-1/2 week paid vacation (that wasn’t charged against their annual leave accounts), they had to work without getting paid during that time.

And that just isn’t right. If you work, you should get paid. On time.


Not to mention the fact that in many cases they were doing exponentially more work because of the absence of “non-essential” employees.


I was a federal employee during several shutdowns, and deemed essential, so I had to keep working, although I didn’t get paid till later. But we always got paid in full when the shutdown ended. The same was true this time.

The fact is, all federal employees did get paid. And those deemed ‘non-essential’ ended up with an extra paid vacation, since they got paid for the days they did not work.


Were you affected by this one? I’m curious, because one of our civilian employees is saying that she didn’t get all of her pay.


I was not affected by this one. I don’t know why the employees mention minimum wage. The Congress voted, as they always have, to pay all workers once the government was funded again. If they weren’t paid, I could understand the complaint. I think they were paid. They were just paid late. That’s the nature of working for the federal government during a shutdown. If you’re fortunate enough not to be deemed essential, you will not go to work and not get paid, but then you will get paid for the days you didn’t work after the shutdown is over! And if you are deemed essential, you will work but not get paid until the shutdown is over.


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