NTEU filed suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on January 7, 2019, alleging that the government’s failure to pay employees properly and on time during the shutdown violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The FLSA requires that all employees covered by the statute be paid on time for any overtime work performed and be paid at least the minimum wage for any regularly scheduled work. The shutdown began at 12:01 a.m. on December 22, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of employees are being forced to continue working as “excepted” employees. NTEU is aware of many employees who worked overtime on December 22, 2018, but did not receive payment for that overtime in the pay period ending on that date. Failure to pay those employees constitutes an FLSA violation. In the next pay period ending on January 5, 2019 (with payments generally going out on January 14, 2019), many more employees will be denied any pay whatsoever. The government’s failure to pay these hardworking employees at least the minimum wage for the hours they have worked and for any overtime worked violates the FLSA. NTEU is asking the court to order compensation for these employees as well as 100% matching liquidated damages.
As a reminder, NTEU-represented agencies currently under a lapse of appropriations are: IRS and other Department of Treasury Offices and Bureaus, CBP and FLETC, CFTC, EPA, FCC, FDA, FEC, NPS, PTO, SEC, and USDA. It is unconscionable that many employees are having to work — and having to work overtime hours — with no pay whatsoever. NTEU will continue to fight in the courts and on Capitol Hill to end this shutdown and to make sure that all employees are fairly compensated.