If another shutdown and furlough should arise, federal workers should be careful about using online crowdsourcing campaigns like GoFundMe -- and about accepting gifts under any circumstances. This is according to new guidance issued by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.
As you know, the recent partial government shutdown put a lot of federal workers in a tough spot. Without paychecks, many had trouble making ends meet, even on a temporary basis. Loans for personal expenses can be hard to come by. And many federal workers still haven't received all the back pay they were promised. Now, the deadline for another shutdown is looming. How will federal employees cope?
Now that President Trump has signed a short-term deal to end the partial government shutdown, 800,000 federal employees will be headed back to work as usual, with pay. As you know, some workers deemed essential have been working without pay, but all of the affected workers have gone without paychecks for a month. On the top of everyone's mind is when the back pay will be coming.
Yes. That said, there is a possibility you will get push-back from your agency. To be in the best legal position, you should be prepared to show that any protests or other free speech activities took place on your own time.
Will Congress and the President come up with a funding plan that will keep the federal workforce operating through the end of the year? Naturally, it's impossible to say. The deadline is Friday, and President Trump is reportedly digging in to his position that Congress must issue at least $5 billion in funding for his proposed border wall.
On Friday, President Trump signed a two-week spending bill to avert a shutdown through Dec. 22. If necessary, additional time-limited measures could keep the government running until a permanent budget deal can be reached.
Many federal employees are feeling under attack. The never-ending series of budget "crises" and the unrelenting negative publicity aimed at federal employees becomes demoralizing to the average worker just trying to do their job. The sequestration, pay freezes, budget cuts and the incipient furloughs add to the oppressive environment that many workers inhabit.
The latest federal agency to begin the process of notifying employees of furloughs is Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The agency, which has more than 60,000 employees, started sending notices that furloughs would begin after April 21 and could entail up to 14 days, spread across the rest of the fiscal year. CBP is going to use a hiring freeze, cutting travel and training budgets, and sharp cuts to overtime and compensatory time to achieve the needed budget cuts.
Now that Congress and the President have failed to prevent sequestration from going into effect, for many federal employees, the question on their minds becomes "what now?" The truth is, no one really knows, because no one has experience with this type of situation. Each agency will respond slightly differently, so how the sequestration cuts will affect employees will also vary.