Federal employees who worked during the shutdown suing for additional pay

posted at 2:41 pm on November 5, 2013 by Steve Eggleston

National Journal reports that five Bureau of Prisons employees filed on October 24 a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all federal employees forced to work during the shutdown and not paid during it:

The class action lawsuit filed by five Bureau of Prisons employees in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims alleges the government violated the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act when it delayed full pay for excepted employees until agencies reopened on Oct. 17. The suit asks the government to compensate excepted employees at a rate of $7.25 per hour times the number of hours worked between Oct. 1 and Oct. 5, as well as any applicable overtime. Employees who worked 8-hour days at that rate for five days would be entitled to $290 in back pay under the lawsuit, plus any overtime they are due.

If successful, the plaintiffs would end up receiving double back pay for the trouble the government shutdown caused them. All government employees, excepted and furloughed, should have received their back pay for Oct. 1 through Oct. 5 by now. Employees who remain on the job during a shutdown are guaranteed back pay by law; Congress has to approve back pay for furloughed workers, which it did for the 16-day shutdown. About 1.3 million federal employees were excepted during the shutdown.

The affected pay period ran from Sept. 22 through Oct. 5; the government shut down on Oct. 1, so most federal civilian employees were not paid for Oct. 1 through Oct. 5 in their Oct. 11 paycheck. Military service members and many Defense Department civilians, however, were paid on time during the government shutdown. The Pay Our Military Act, which President Obama signed into law on Sept. 30, ensured that all active-duty and reserve members of the armed forces, as well as any civilians and contractors working in support of those forces, were paid on time regardless of the shutdown’s duration.

The suit alleges 4 violations of the FLSA:

- Despite being fully-paid for the first 9 days of the biweekly pay period, that on an hourly or daily pay basis, the still-working “essential” employees didn’t get at least minimum wage pay for the first 5 days of the shutdown, and that on a weekly basis, most of the “essential” employees didn’t get at least minimum wage pay for the week.
- That those who are not exempt from the FLSA overtime provisions did not get paid overtime accrued during the first 5 days of the shutdown.
- That, because there was no paycheck on (or about, depending on the actual payday) October 11, those normally exempt from the FLSA overtime provisions were not paid on a salaried basis and thus should receive time-and-a-half overtime for all overtime accrued between September 22 and October 5.
- That the lack of a paycheck on or about October 11 was an “unjustified personnel action” under the Back Pay Act, subject to, at a minimum, back pay plus interest, as well as a claim for attorneys’ fees.

I’m not a lawyer, but since back pay has been paid since the lawsuit’s filing in accordance with other provisions of federal law, this lawsuit should be moot because of that. I guess the employees are hoping that because some furloughed federal employees will be keeping their unemployment checks as well as their back pay, a sympathetic judge will let them double-dip as well.

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I heard National Park Rangers are demanding a $50 bounty for each veteran or senior citizen they harrassed.

Federal workers are double dipsh!ts.

MichaelGabriel on November 5, 2013 at 2:50 PM

And government “workers” wonder why we don’t like them.

natasha333 on November 5, 2013 at 2:51 PM

OT, but has the FoxNews.com page been hacked?

Check out the main headline. Link goes to nowhere.

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Stuff Yo

BacaDog on November 5, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Yeah, thanks a lot you BoP employees. You make all federal employees look as money-grubbing as you are.

Happy Nomad on November 5, 2013 at 2:52 PM

I saw a Federal Game Warden for the first time ever out at the Blasdal WPA on opening day for pheasant. It was during the shutdown. I’ve never seen one of these jokers ever, anywhere before. I guess he had to go and remove the Closed Because of Shutdown signs, that we would have happily removed for him.

claudius on November 5, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Ummmmm no

cmsinaz on November 5, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Anyone remember the old short story, “The Gun” about a sailing era gunner whose carelessness allowed a gun to get loose during a storm, who then brought the gun under control through an act of great bravery.

The admiral aboard awards the man a medal for saving the ship, and then orders him shot for neglect of duty.

Maybe we could do the same thing to the gummint employees who worked unnecessarily to put up barry-cades and such — pay them the overtime, then jail them for violating the law by working when they should not have been.

No Truce With Kings on November 5, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Well, C’mon GOPe, roll over!

ExpressoBold on November 5, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Maybe we could do the same thing to the gummint employees who worked unnecessarily to put up barry-cades and such — pay them the overtime, then jail them for violating the law by working when they should not have been.

No Truce With Kings on November 5, 2013 at 3:00 PM

I like it. :P

Othniel on November 5, 2013 at 3:04 PM

WAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

Bitter Clinger on November 5, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Isn’t really an honest living, is it?

Herald of Woe on November 5, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Federal employees who worked during the shutdown suing for additional pay

I’d look into suing them back for filing frivolous lawsuits.

Stoic Patriot on November 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM

My wife is a Fed. When she was furloughed there was this horrible fuss made about the furloughed workers not being able to take laptops home, not using cell phones that are designated for Government business, not coming into the office, etc. etc. Anybody even looking like they were thinking about working was threatened with termination.

So why were the BoP folks on the job? Every department has “essential” employees that are immune from furloughs as it is deemed potentially harmful to the public safety if they are not on the job. Think air traffic controllers.

Were the people filing the lawsuit classified as essential? If they were, then they are already covered to receive back pay. If they were not essential, then they should be fired. Them is the rules.

bartbeast on November 5, 2013 at 3:40 PM

I wonder if the citizens held hostage in their hotel rooms by the NPS should be eligible for some sort of reimbursement as well..?

d1carter on November 5, 2013 at 3:46 PM

FLSA now on the list of federal laws to be defunded.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 5, 2013 at 3:54 PM

I wonder if the citizens held hostage in their hotel rooms by the NPS should be eligible for some sort of reimbursement as well..?

d1carter

“intentional infliction of emotional distress” and “denial of civil rights” come to mind.

BD57 on November 5, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Hey – it’s hard work pushing wheelchair-bound 90 year old vets away from war memorials….

dentarthurdent on November 5, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Everybody here just does their job, right? You know, if you’re working here and in the middle of the day you just stopped and said, you know what? I want to get something, but I don’t know — I don’t know exactly what I’m going get, but — I’m just going to stop working until I get something– I’m going to shut down the whole plant until I get something. You’d get fired! Right?

J_Crater on November 5, 2013 at 4:06 PM

May something bad overcome all the scum. They forget who sustains their livelihoods, the thugs.

Schadenfreude on November 5, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Maybe we should fire the essential government workers and keep the nonessential ones. As it is they all get paid whether they work or not.

savage24 on November 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Everybody here just does their job, right? You know, if you’re working here and in the middle of the day you just stopped and said, you know what? I want to get something, but I don’t know — I don’t know exactly what I’m going get, but — I’m just going to stop working until I get something– I’m going to shut down the whole plant until I get something. You’d get fired! Right?

J_Crater on November 5, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Sounds a bit … inarticulate.

There Goes the Neighborhood on November 5, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Not sure but isn’t the distinction that both essential and non essential coworkers got back pay for normal hours not worked due to shutdown yet the essentials had to work. So one group got a paid vacation while the other worked. From the standpoint of fairness they have a point. However I’m also of the opinion that no govt person should get backpay for hours not worked. If they don’t like that then don’t work for the govt.

AH_C on November 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

“intentional infliction of emotional distress” and “denial of civil rights” come to mind.
BD57 on November 5, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Kidnapping, and Unlawful Detention, are even better, if you could find an honest USAtty.

Another Drew on November 5, 2013 at 6:08 PM

When I am inaugurated, I will demand that all Departments/Administrations/Bureaus/etc., in D.C. produce their “Snow List”, and anyone not on it will be RIF’d.
A.J.Jackson, and I approve this message.

Another Drew on November 5, 2013 at 6:11 PM

I work for the federal govt (though if I could retire tomorrow, I would be history!) and this is total BS!

NavyMustang on November 5, 2013 at 6:24 PM

One of the boneheads who works at my agency asked the Administrator if the employees who worked during the shutdown were going to get recognition in the form of awards or some such.

I worked during the shutdown and I couldn’t stop laughing when I heard that. Why should I get an award for DOING MY JOB?!!!!!!

NavyMustang on November 5, 2013 at 6:26 PM

In all honesty, they may have a point here. Should they sue? Of course not. But if the people who were furloughed are getting their usual pay, why shouldn’t those who worked be compensated above what those who were furloughed are getting just because some mid-level manager pointed to them and said, “You’re essential. You gotta work”? Whether it’s paid time off or whatever. And I loathe to use the term, fairness, would require them to be compensated above what the others receive. Otherwise, why put forth the effort?

Mitoch55 on November 5, 2013 at 6:29 PM

They have to be kidding ………………. damn I hate government workers.

SC.Charlie on November 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Always working to screw the tax payer.

CWchangedhisNicagain on November 5, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Having to work for your pay, while someone else sits on their duff and still gets paid is what is really making them mad.

You know, kind of like how I feel about so many welfare recipients…

ss396 on November 6, 2013 at 12:50 AM

They keep showing they’re too big and keep demanding to be dismantled. I keep hearing over and over the same plea, “Stop me from proving my worthlessness. Stop me from proving the harm that I do to you. I cannot help myself!” And my very strong impulse is to help.

bour3 on November 6, 2013 at 1:28 AM

I wish I could pull crap like this. And not get fired, that is.

JackM on November 6, 2013 at 6:37 AM

I think we should compensate the immigration criminals who took the time to come out for that fun rally they had on the Mall while the government was closed.

JackM on November 6, 2013 at 6:41 AM

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

STFU, dumbass.

JackM on November 6, 2013 at 6:48 AM

It was the chicken leg Congress that messed this up. They furloughed workers, but instead of giving them one of two option

1. you take time off with out pay.
2. you take extended leave with pay.

No they come up with crap saying you will have time off with all pay and compensation, just don’t show up for work.
To others they same you must show up for work and will be paid.
Still others they said you must show up for work and you might get paid in the future.

Lets put the blame where it belongs. CONGRESS

jpcpt03 on November 6, 2013 at 3:40 PM