On Jan. 16, AFGE-supported legislation was signed into law that would provide back pay for federal employees forced to work without pay or locked out of their jobs without pay during the shutdown.
Our union thanks all the senators who supported this bill. Our members deserve to be paid for the time they’ve been locked out of their jobs through no fault of their own.
The bill also applies to employees of the D.C. government, D.C. Courts, and D.C. Public Defenders Service affected by the shutdown. In addition, it clarifies that excepted employees who have previously approved leave during the shutdown may take that leave without penalty.
While the guarantee of back pay is certainly good news, it does little to help our members who are struggling to make ends meet during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history – a shutdown that President Trump has said could last for “months or even years.”
It's absolutely critical for our members that Senate Republicans vote to reopen the government immediately. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring the House-passed bills that would reopen the government to the floor for a vote, personally blocking it three times this year.
“While signing of this bill guaranteeing back pay for our members and other impacted federal employees is a welcomed development, employees are still left to wonder when they will be paid and when they will be able to go back to work,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. said. “Our government should be fully funded and able to provide the American public with quality services.”