What Are the Wage and Hour Implications of the Government Shut-Down?

With the government shutdown stretching from days to weeks, thousands of workers are off work, and wondering how this will affect their paycheck.

The answer depends on many factors.

For example, in general, non-exempt employees are only paid for actual time worked during a government shutdown. As such, their pay may be affected greatly if they are unable to come to work for those days when they are not needed. However, if they are still able to work, non-exempt employees must be paid at least the minimum wage, or applicable prevailing wage rate, on any hours worked in a workweek of and during a partial federal government shutdown. Further, he or she is also entitled to overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of compensation for all time worked in excess of 40 hours in any one work week. Additionally, they must receive a paycheck for time worked on their scheduled payday. On the other hand, if a non-exempt employee is unable to work during the government shutdown, he or she will not receive any pay for days or hours missed as a result.

Alternatively, exempt employees are entitled to their regular salary for any workweek in which they perform any work. How the shutdown affects their pay is a separate consideration and impacted by the department in which the employee works, whether appropriations were made, and ultimately how Congress decides to pay for the shutdown period.

Further, in general, those employees who are deemed essential or critical by an agency and who work during a partial government shutdown are entitled to be paid as they were before the shutdown.

Whether, and how much, you will be paid during a government shut-down is a nuanced and complex question, with many issues unknown until the shut-down ends. For more information, or how the impact the shut-down may have on your particular situation, please contact the dedicated Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.

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