Report: Shutdown now illegal

With the federal government now being in the longest shutdown in history, it may now be illegal based on a precedent set by a previous shutdown, Government Executive reports.

According to the report, after the 2013 16-day shutdown, a federal court ruled that the government violated the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act when employees worked without receiving their paychecks.

Based on that ruling some employees will also be entitled to damages in addition to back pay after the government reopens, the article notes, adding that on Jan. 11, many of the than 800,000 federal employees did not receive their paychecks for the very first time during the partial shutdown.

Reader comments

Fri, Feb 8, 2019 James

CBO has estimated that the shutdown cost us $11B. Perhaps the penalty for failing to pass a budget should be $11B fine to individuals in Congress. THAT will get their attention.

Wed, Jan 23, 2019 Barb

Trump said Mexico was going to pay for the wall...why is he trying to make American taxpayers pay for it?!

Tue, Jan 15, 2019

Excuse Sam he does not understand how federal employment works. Most federal employees can not strike and if they did it is illegal and consequences would be severe. Sam never worked as a federal government employee. Also I question the intellectual capacity of such a statement.

Tue, Jan 15, 2019

What EXACTLY has President Trump done or is doing to destroy America?

Tue, Jan 15, 2019

It is very funny that everyone is saying that Congress and the President shouldn't get paid - that's a hoot! Do you really think they have a problem in paying their mortgage or car payment if they don't get paid - really, their net worth is far more than any "average" American - look it up on the internet. It is sad that government employees are used as pawns and there is no relief, nor will there be, as a judge may rule it illegal, the law says that the government cannot obligate funds without appropriations being approved. Don't get your hopes set on "damages" (not that you don't deserve them)!

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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