Federal workers’ union sues government over shutdown

The White House. File photo: Wikipedia Commons/Cezary p

Jan. 1 (UPI) — A federal workers’ labor union filed a lawsuit against the federal government for requiring employees to work without pay during a government shut down.

Federal employees deemed “essential” are required to work without pay during the ongoing government shutdown. And the American Federation of Government Employees accused the government of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by forcing employees to work without pay since Dec. 22, when the shutdown began.

Most military personnel are given an exception during government shutdowns and are not affected. However, Coast Guard personnel are affected because they fall under the jurisdiction of Homeland Security. About 25 percent of the agencies are affected during the shutdown with the rest already funded through September, including the military.

According to the lawsuit, there are more than 400,000 employees that are deemed “essential” and therefore currently working without pay. Some of those employees include workers from the U.S. Postal Service and Federal Reserve.

During previous government shutdowns, government workers were eventually paid for the time they worked.

The current lawsuit is similar to a previous lawsuit filed after the 2013 government shutdown during the Obama administration.

Litigation for that lawsuit went on until February 2017, when a federal judge ruled that the federal government must pay affected employees double for the time they were impacted.


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