When I was a federal employee, I was part of two major shutdowns.
The first time, I was considered non-essential and only worked the last couple of days before everyone went back to work. It doesn’t make you feel good about yourself to know that your employer thinks you are not essential. It wasn’t a vacation in the sense that you couldn’t go anywhere – you may have to go to work the next day. I am not complaining – I got paid for time I didn’t work and I am sure many private sector workers would not have if their business was shut down temporarily. I am fortunate that I didn’t live paycheck to paycheck but this was a hardship for some people – rich people in Congress don’t understand this.
The second time, my agency got smart and a much higher percentage of employees was essential. I worked the whole time and that’s fine. That’s what I was there to do.
There are some good points below.
- Congress is not required to pay employees who were furloughed. They always have in the past though. Contractor employees are screwed because they don’t get paid directly by the government.
- Trump’s tweet that employees said they wanted the government to stay closed is almost certainly a lie. We had no way to contact the president. I guess they can tweet at him which was not an option in the old days.
- Is Trump going to stiff the furloughed employees? Who knows what he will do.