How are Federal Employees Affected by Government Shutdowns?

With threats of yet another government shutdown looming, federal employees could face serious problems. Essential Government operations will continue regardless of whether there are funds or not, but that also means thousands of federal employees will either be furloughed without pay or be required to work without pay.

Federal employees are employees who work in any of the following three branches of the federal government: Legislative (Congress), Executive, or Judicial (Federal Courts). All civil servants who work for the US government are considered federal employees. In case of a government shutdown, what will happen to the federal employees?

Rights of Federal Employees

During a government shutdown, federal agencies will not be able to receive funding, which means nonessential agencies, which are agencies not involved with national defense, law enforcement, national security, or other public safety, will typically have to halt their operations. For offices that still have some funding, they will continue operating, but after they have run out of cash, they will need to cease operations as well.

During a government shutdown, nonessential employees will be furloughed without pay. Essential government employees will be required to work without pay. But did you know that you have your rights as a federal employee even after a government shutdown?

The following are some of the rights that a federal employee has during a government shutdown:

  • You should get your unemployment benefits by your state unemployment compensation agency
  • You should still receive your social security payments
  • If you are a military retiree or a veteran, you should continue receiving your pension
  • If you are a disabled veteran, you will still enjoy your benefits
  • Any employee who is covered by the Federal Employee’s Health Benefit Act can still see his or her doctor

A government shutdown does not mean that a federal employee should suffer. And career title 5 federal employees have the right to appeal a furlough to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) if they believe it constitutes a prohibited personnel practice of discrimination or retaliation. Please contact the federal employee attorneys at John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law in order to protect your benefits during a government shutdown.

Contact us today at (202) 759-7780 to understand more about your rights as a federal employee.

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