Federal employees union sues government for lack of pay

Corrections officers along with other federal workers believe the shutdown violates the Fair Labor Standards Act

By CorrectionsOne Staff

WASHINGTON — A federal employee labor union is suing the U.S. government for requiring “essential” employees to work without pay during the government shutdown.

According to CNN, The American Federation of Government Employees alleges that the government is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by forcing federal employees deemed essential to work without pay.

Corrections officers, Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and transportation security have been affected by the shutdown. The AFGE filed the suit on behalf of all essential government workers as well as named officers Justin Tarovisky and Grayson Sharp, who work for the Bureau of Prisoners.

“This past weekend we’ve had four staff assaults just at the prison alone,” Tarovisky said during an interview with CNN. “We are severely understaffed… Now to have a shutdown where we’re essential employees and we represent the government and we have to show up for work for the American people to keep the community safe, to keep staff safe, to keep the inmates safe, that shutdown, it’s not helping us.”

J. David Cox, the AFGE’s president, called the requirement that some employees are working without pay “inhumane.”

"Our nation's heroes, AFGE members and their families deserve the decency of knowing when their next paycheck is coming and that they will be paid for their work," Cox said. "Our intent is to force the government and the administration to make all federal employees whole."

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