WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees is urging all federal employees who have been working without pay during the 35-day government shutdown to join its shutdown lawsuit so they can recover liquidated damages for the financial harm they suffered.
AFGE, the nation’s largest federal employee union, and the law firm Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch (KCNF DC) filed the first lawsuit challenging the shutdown on Dec. 31, 2018, and filed an amended complaint Jan. 9.
The lawsuit alleges that the federal government violated the law by requiring some federal employees to work without pay during the shutdown. These employees, and other employees who are deemed “excepted,” perform a variety of critical, and often dangerous roles, including correctional officers, TSA security officers, FEMA employees, border and immigration agents, and many more.
“About 800,000 federal employees have gone without a paycheck since the start of the year due to this shutdown, which is the longest in U.S. history,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “While the agreement reached by the White House and Congress will put employees back to work temporarily and allow them to start getting paid, we will not stop fighting until we have full-year funding approved for all our agencies and until all employees are made whole for the income they have lost.”
The number of employees working without pay under the shutdown reached 450,000, with another 350,000 furloughed from their jobs without pay.
All federal employees who are classified as non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, have been deemed “excepted” by their agency, and worked for any amount of time on or after Dec. 22, 2018 without being paid are eligible to join the AFGE lawsuit.
To join the lawsuit, employees should visit www.2018governmentshutdown.com and provide the required information. Federal employees can email any questions they have about the lawsuit to firstname.lastname@example.org.