On day 26 of the longest Government Shutdown in history, the President signed the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act into the law. Retroactive pay is now guaranteed for affected employees, and although they will receive compensation on the earliest possible date after the work stoppage, the Federal Government must be funded by law before the pay is received. It offers some relief. There are other items of proposed legislation to arise as a result of the shutdown:
–The Federal Employee Civil Relief Act would protect furloughed workers from the adverse impacts of foreclosures, past due bills, and the like.
–The Government Shutdown Impact Report of 2019 Act would stipulate that the CBO would have to produce a detailed report of the Federal budget during each business day during such a shutdown. Besides the usefulness of said reports, the work required to produce these documents might persuade a quicker end to political standoffs that cause these shutdowns.
–HR 338 would let federal workers withdraw an amount equal to their paycheck from their TSP account in the event of Federal Government shutdown.
On the other side of the law, the NTEU (National Treasury Employee Union) lost a lawsuit by ruling of a federal judge. The argument of the union was that work without pay amounted to servitude. The judge did not agree with this assessment as pay was guaranteed for essential workers after the shutdown ends. Along with the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is also suing the Federal Government over the shutdown. AFGE won a similar case in the 2013 shutdown, but it should be noted that the two sides are still at ends in calculating the correct amount due to the plaintiffs.
Until Next Time,
**Written by Benjamin Derge, Financial Planner. The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Benjamin Derge and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or