Currently, about 500,000 federal employees are being required to report to work each day without pay or guarantee of immediate back pay once the government reopens. Although government shutdowns are nothing new, this year’s shutdown has become the longest in history standing in at 27 days. However, federal employees are making a stand. Two of the nation’s largest federal employee unions, the National Treasury Employees Union and the American Federation of Government Employees, have filed separate wage lawsuits against the Trump Administration.
Two Bureau of Prisons employees filed a class action lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on behalf of all “essential” federal employees who are being required to report to their posts during the shutdown. The lawsuits argue the practice of requiring an employee to work without pay violates the FLSA. Additionally, there have been periods of unpaid overtime federal employees have worked through since the shutdown began on December 22. The lawsuits seek to recover any outstanding pay and overtime plus liquidated damages of up to an additional 100%.
Labor laws such as the FLSA have long been established to protect all hard-working employees with the appropriate pay. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP stands behind our essential federal employees who should be entitled to receive their regular pay and overtime on their normally scheduled payday. If you or anyone you know is a federal employee and has questions about their owed wages during this shutdown, please give Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP a call for free phone consultation. We can be reached at (212)300-0375 or on our webpage for additional information.