Bill would forbid furloughed feds from 'double dipping'
- By FederalSoup Staff
- May 29, 2015
A Texas lawmaker last week introduced a bill to prevent furloughed federal employees from "double-dipping" compensation.
The Furloughed Federal Employee Double Dip Elimination Act (H.R. 2512), sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), clarifies that federal employees who receive back pay for a period during which they are furloughed due to a lapse in appropriations may not also receive unemployment compensation for the same period.
During the October 2013 government shutdown, the Department of Labor advised state workforce agencies that federal workers furloughed during the shutdown were considered to be unemployed—and therefore might be eligible for unemployment compensation. As a result, some feds did claim and receive unemployment insurance compensation.
When the shutdown ended a few weeks after DOL issued its first advisory, the department then notified the state agencies that the continuing resolution passed by Congress fully compensated furloughed employees—and therefore those employees "now must be considered to have been in pay status from Oct. 1, 2013, until the end of the lapse in appropriations" (Oct. 17.). As a result, DOL told states they were required to recover the funds they had paid out.
Confusion arose at that time because some states' laws governing unemployment benefits are written in such as way that feds in those states who claimed benefits appeared to be able to keep the money under state law.