These Congressmen Want to Give You Back Pay in the Event of a Shutdown

Categories: Congress, Pay, Workers' Rights

Two elected officials from Virginia are sending a dear colleague letter to their coworkers asking them to co-sponsor a bill that would make sure federal employees get paid immediately after the government re-opens in the event of a shutdown.

“Preferably, Congress will reach an agreement to enact legislation to fully fund the government and allow our dedicated federal workforce to continue to carry out its critical mission,” Reps. Don Beyer and Rob Wittman wrote in a Sept. 22 letter. “In absence of such agreement and with time running dangerously short, federal employees should be assured that there is agreement in Congress that they will receive their pay in a fair and timely manner.”

Their bill, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, ensures that all federal employees receive retroactive pay for the duration of any shutdown, regardless of furlough status.

Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland has introduced a similar bill, the 2015 Federal Employee Fair Treatment Act.

In the 2013 shutdown which lasted 16 days, federal employees didn’t get paid until Oct. 25, even though the government re-opened on Oct. 17. They had to wait until lawmakers struck the final deal to fund agencies. 

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