Judge Orders Double Pay for Thousands of Federal Workers Affected By 2013 Shutdown


About 25,000 federal workers deemed essential during the 2013 partial government shutdown are entitled to be paid twice for work they performed during a five-day period, a federal judge found this week.

The workers were not paid on time for work at the beginning of the 16-day shutdown, though they were given the back pay when the political crisis was resolved.

The Fair Labor Standards Act, under which the workers sued, entitles government workers to the damages if they aren’t paid on time.

Government attorneys unsuccessfully pointed to a different law, the Anti-Deficiency Act, which prohibits spending of money without congressional authorization, and argued at a minimum the government should not have to pay damages because of a good-faith belief about the ADA's implications.

But U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith found the workers were entitled to on-time payment under the FLSA and that the conflicting laws didn't allow the government off the hook.

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