The Office of Personnel Management sent guidance to agency human resource directors detailing how federal employees will receive back pay and leave after the partial 3-day government shutdown. The continuing resolution Congress passed and the President signed ending the shutdown, included retroactive pay for furloughed and excepted federal employees during the recent shutdown.
It applied to feds who were furloughed or any “excepted employee” who came into their agency for work at any point during the shutdown.
“Employees should follow the guidance of their respective shared service payroll providers for the recording of time and attendance to ensure that all employees are paid at their standard rate of compensation,” OPM acting Director Kathleen McGettigan wrote to agencies. “Employees may be required to code furlough time as regular duty to ensure that they are paid properly and promptly.”
Agencies must also adjust leave accounts for furloughed federal employees and recredit any lost time during the lapse of appropriations.
“Since the employee is retroactively placed in a pay status, annual and sick leave will accrue in accordance with the normal rules,” OPM wrote.
Those who were on pre-approved leave without pay during the shutdown will be charged LWOP for those 3 days. Also, federal employees who were scheduled or performed overtime or night work at any point during the shutdown will receive overtime, night differential, or premium pay.
Federal employees receive back pay, contractors don’t.
D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill that would give back pay to federal contracted retail, food, custodial, and security service employees place on unpaid leave during the shutdown.
“I recognize, of course, that contract workers are employees of contractors, but the distinction between federal workers and at least, the lowest paid contract workers who, for example, keep buildings clean, fail when it comes to a deliberate government shutdown,” he wrote in a letter to the House. “Unlike many other contractors, those who employ low-wage service workers have little latitude to help make up for lost wages.”
The Low-Wage Federal Contractor Employee Back Pay Act is similar to the legislation he introduced in 2013 after the 16-day shutdown, however, the bill never got a vote in the House.