It’s another day in the partial government shutdown, which started on December 22, and a federal employee Union sued the Trump administration for making employees work without pay.
According to a report from USA Today, The American Federation of Government Employees believes it is unlawful for government employees to work and not be paid, and it filed the suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The AFGE is one of the largest unions in the country. The partial shutdown is in its second week, and hundreds of thousands of workers employed by the government are working without pay or on furlough.
J. David Cox Sr., the AFGE’s national president, said, “Our members put their lives on the line to keep our country safe. Requiring them to work without pay is nothing short of inhumane. Positions that are considered ‘essential’ during a government shutdown are some of the most dangerous jobs in the federal government.”
The reason for the government shutdown is that president Donald Trump demanded as much as $5 billion for a wall on the U.S. and Mexico border, and the president and Congress failed to come to an agreement on a budget because Congressional Democrats and some Republicans were not willing to pass funding for the wall, which many Americans oppose.
The Hill reported that the firm Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch represents the union in its claims against the U.S. government. In a release, the firm’s partner, Heidi Burakiewicz, said the following.
“Approximately 420,000 federal employees are continuing to work, but don’t know when they will get their next paychecks. This is not an acceptable way for any employer, let alone the U.S. government, to treat its employees. These employees still need to pay childcare expenses, buy gas, and incur other expenses to go to work every day and yet, they are not getting paid. It is a blatant violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.”
In addition to not knowing when their next paycheck will come, President Trump also used an executive order to freeze federal employees pay, which cancels a planned 2.1 percent pay raise. The move seems somewhat at odds with Trump’s recent claims in his Happy New Year video that the economy is doing great and wages are rising, the Inquisitr reported.
For now, there does not appear to be an end in sight for the partial government shutdown. The new Congress will start soon, and the House of Representatives has a proposed budget, which includes funding for border security, but not for a border wall. President Trump said he will not sign a budget that does not include money for the physical barrier.