A federal judge ruled Monday that about 25,000 federal employees who worked without pay during the 2013 partial government shutdown are eligible for partial back pay even though they later were fully paid for that time.
The case involves employees who were told to stay on the job, typically because of the national security or public safety nature of their work, while others were furloughed when political leaders hit a deadlock and agency spending authority lapsed at the start of the government’s fiscal year Oct. 1.
The partial shutdown lasted two weeks, with both those who stayed on the job and those who were furloughed later paid in full, most commonly with the following paycheck. There were separate furloughs in 2013 related to the “sequestration” budget caps imposed that year; those furloughed for that reason were not paid later.
At issue in Martin v. U.S. before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims was whether, regardless of the funding lapse, the Fair Labor Standards Act obligated the government to pay the minimum wage — as well as overtime pay, if applicable — to those it kept on the job during the October shutdown…..