Will feds get back pay?
Ending the partial government shutdown would affect federal workers in many ways, apart from returning to work those who have been furloughed. Following are answers to some key questions about the impact.
Q. Will federal employees get back pay for the shutdown period?
A. The debt ceiling/shutdown deal up for voting in Congress would provide back pay.
The shutdown divided employees into several main categories regarding their pay:
“Exempt” employees work in functions that were not affected by the shutdown, typically because those operations are self-funding or have multi-year budgets. Those employees, most numerously in the U.S. Postal Service, have been receiving regular pay and benefits.
“Excepted” employees were kept on the job because of the nature of their work — for example, positions related to national security or public health or safety. They have been in duty status, but unpaid —although those working at the Defense Department have been paid, under the Pay Our Military Act, which passed soon after the shutdown started Oct. 1. All excepted employees have been guaranteed all along that they would receive back pay for their unpaid working time, but that couldn’t happen until government funding is restored.
“Furloughed” employees also have been unpaid during the shutdown but they were kept off the job and there has been no guarantee they would receive back pay for that time. The retroactive pay provision is needed for them.