If you’ve been paying attention to the news, then you now know the government is experiencing a shutdown. The partial shutdown began on December 22, making it the third shutdown of 2018. Currently, 800,000 federal workers have been affected, with some workers being furloughed without pay.
The shutdown has been caused by President Donald Trump, who is refusing to reopen the government until he receives the $5.7 billion in funding needed to build a wall on our Southern borders. However, the House has no plans in sight to agree to this.
About 420,000 of those workers have been deemed “essential” are being forced to continue working their normal schedules without pay, and with no knowledge of when they may again be paid. It’s been stated that these employees will ultimately receive back pay, but that has not yet been confirmed at this time.
Of course, this is beginning to cause some serious problems. Federal workers have officially begun suing the government over the shutdown due to the work requirements imposed during this time. The American Federation of Government Employees has filed the lawsuit on behalf of federal workers, citing the unfairness of forcing people to work without pay, without the promise of future pay, and the effect disrupted paychecks will have on individuals. Not only is the pay interruption an issue, but there are also employee benefits federal workers will have to go without. For example, the government shutdown cancels all annual leave for essential employees, rendering vacations or sick leave void.
The American Federation of Government Employees is one of the largest federal workforce unions in the country, and have previous experience in suing over shutdowns. Their hope is to speak for the federal workers who have been caught in the political crossfire and hope to push for an end to the shutdown entirely.