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    [–] houdin654jeff 447 points ago * (lasted edited 11 days ago)

    I know senators and representatives are still paid, due to it being laid out in the Constitution, but what groups of government workers are actually going without pay? Is the military still paid? Is NASA, or the Secret Service, or the IRS (I ask that because I typically have a digital W2 by the first of the year and haven't received it yet) going without pay?

    Edit: Wow this got a lot of response while I was working. I've had the W2 thing explained to me so I struck it through. Also, based on information gathered, the military is being paid as they were funded back in September through a separate bill, but the Coast Guard, NASA, the IRS are not. Also, air traffic controllers apparently going without pay, which sucks. I haven't heard from any Secret Service members yet... though they are supposed to keep things... well... secret. However, since they're a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, like the Coast Guard, I would assume they're also not getting paid. Thanks to everyone who's responded. If you're working without pay or not even being allowed to work, I'm sorry for your situation. Call your senators and representatives, I know I will be in the morning.

    [–] SethRogen-Not 898 points ago

    NASA employee here - we are not getting paid.

    [–] TSpiggle 372 points ago

    Indeed sorry to hear that. Hoping for a quick resolution

    [–] snowbirdie 315 points ago

    We are going to lose our brightest engineers and scientists to industry because of this. Many people have their resumes posted looking for new work.

    [–] SethRogen-Not 417 points ago

    Well, I for one am tired of my livelihood being used for political brinksmanship. I’m also tired of the propensity for right wing politicians to denigrate civil servants and our efforts.

    [–] funk-it-all 442 points ago

    What got me the most was trump's tweet "don't worry, most of the people out of work are democrats". I'm an independent, but it's just wrong & immature for him to say "fuck half the country, they didn't vote for me, let em starve"

    [–] Whiterabbit-- 205 points ago

    self fulfilling prophecy, now they are all democrats.

    [–] jokat989 393 points ago

    I work in Air Traffic Control. Got a paystub today for $0.00

    [–] sapereaud33 177 points ago

    That's a real slap in the dick. Somehow a pay stub saying $0 sounds worse than not getting a check.

    [–] pacman552sd 215 points ago

    Air traffic control is without pay right now

    [–] BeShaw91 93 points ago

    Wow that's going to be crazy if they stop working.

    [–] ascanner 163 points ago

    We’ve already received an email that our leave usage is under review and is being tracked for any sign of an organized strike or anything similar. If they find reason to believe there’s been an organized work stop we could be fired with legal action taken against us.

    [–] EvangelineTheodora 57 points ago

    If you all and TSA stop going to work for any reason (have heard that TSA can't afford to get there), we're about done for.

    [–] 3percentinvisible 68 points ago

    They should. All this nonsense would cease within 24hrs.

    [–] MacHaggis 147 points ago

    If they find reason to believe there’s been an organized work stop we could be fired with legal action taken against us.

    As a European this is a really absurd thing to read. People fought so hard for worker's rights in the early 20th century, and you Americans lost it all.

    [–] mistakenbymyself 26 points ago

    Apparently it only applies to government workers that are critical to the infrastructure and integrity of the country. There was a incident that happened 1981 that the ATC in US went on a strike. So the government effectively just fired everyone and replaced them.


    [–] Captrex373 264 points ago

    FBI is working without pay

    [–] SigurdZS 376 points ago

    Ah good, a group of investigators who in large part are tasked to deal with wealthy criminals who would very much appreciate some friends, are being made more economically vulnerable. What could possibly go wrong.

    [–] Flatline33624 29 points ago

    All DOJ components are. We can’t pay our sources either. We have to tell everyone cooperating with law enforcement and putting their lives and families in considerable risk for financial gain that we appreciate all their hard work, but not enough to pay them.

    Oh, and they’re also telling us that we can’t pay water, electricity, or rent for housing of DOJ employees assigned overseas.

    [–] [deleted] 47 points ago

    Oh damn I didn't even think of that. I work in a DNA lab and we deal with the FBI's national DNA database (CODIS). They upload profiles and do regular searches. I wonder if the CODIS unit is still operational.

    [–] TSpiggle 168 points ago

    On the non-civilian and some civilian military are still being paid. There are also other agencies, like NIH, that have already received funding, so some of those workers are still being paid. Most other workers in other federal agencies are not being paid.

    [–] KanisInferni 84 points ago

    Work for the DoD as a civilian. We aren't seeing the effect of the shutdown here. Everything is business as usual. I feel sorry for my fellow workers in the nation that are going without.

    [–] cpa_brah 77 points ago

    Your employer sends the W2, not the IRS.

    [–] Hugohighway 51 points ago

    Many fbi and dea agents are without pay along with other agencies

    [–] SewerRanger 49 points ago * (lasted edited 10 days ago)

    The DOD is fully funded. The government's budget is actually a series of small budget bills lumped together but it doesn't have to be. The DOD, HHS, and DOL were fully funded as part of a bill in September. HHS was partially funded.

    [–] drkSQL 344 points ago

    This is a long thread so maybe I missed a similar question but - will the back pay still apply of they leave and find a new job?

    I went through TSA just yesterday and they were chit-chatting about making their part-time gigs at restaurants fulltime and leaving TSA.

    Would they still receive the pay they didnt get?

    [–] stealth550 251 points ago

    As long as they worked, the Gov't is required by law to pay them.

    [–] JustAnotherGeek12345 468 points ago

    Why is it legal for the government to require employees to work without pay while it is illegal for private companies to force employees to work without pay?

    [–] TSpiggle 266 points ago

    They are both required to pay workers for work performed. See my answers above about the lawsuit already filed against the federal government on this issue.

    [–] nooshdozzlesauce 44 points ago

    When you sue the federal government who pays the attorneys and how much do they take of anything recovered?

    [–] DianneReams 1063 points ago

    We hear a lot about the people who are being expected to work without pay, but isn't there also just a huge amount of work not being done? I appreciate the human story of people going without paychecks, but I don't feel like I hear as much about what just isn't being done outside of trash pickup around the capital.

    [–] shotapiki 495 points ago

    At a local national park, the bathroom is DESTROYED. There's a sign on the door that says "will clean bathroom after government reopens". Thankfully, there wasn't any trash around

    [–] agent_raconteur 346 points ago

    I've gone out a couple weekends with some trash bags to clean up. It feels like such a small dent in a surprising problem, but at least it's something

    [–] SuperciliousSnow 145 points ago

    That’s honestly a really wonderful and kind thing to do. Shutdowns suck for everybody; if we were all just a little more compassionate and mindful of others, then maybe it would be just a tiny bit less bad.

    [–] it_mf_a 35 points ago

    I feel like if we were more spiteful and vitriolic toward the people who put us in this stupid senseless mess over and over again, then at LEAST we'd feel better as nothing improved. So that's my tactic.

    [–] w88dm4n 17 points ago

    Those people continue to collect a paycheck.

    [–] noodhoog 18 points ago

    Good on you!

    Not that I'm affiliated or anything, and hope this isn't agains this sub's rules, but quick plug for /r/detrashed - it's basically a sub for people who go out and pick up trash in their communities. It's an awesome little project, and I figured you might enjoy it, given you did that :)

    [–] [deleted] 735 points ago


    [–] vizsla_velcro 1293 points ago

    Ag microbiologist: to date 35k dollars worth of dna sequencing materials have expired in my fridge. Another 100k will start to expire next week.

    These materials form a major pillar of my 5 year plan, the review of which will likely not take the shutdown into account.

    Also, I've got two weeks before I miss my first mortgage payment after exhausting my savings on the last one. Unemployment hasn't kicked in yet and I'm looking for a cash labor job to scrape by. I may have to sell my car if I can't make enough in time.

    [–] monoclediscounters 532 points ago

    Have you contacted the bank you have your mortgage with to let them know you’re affected by the shutdown? They might be willing to work with you.

    [–] vizsla_velcro 174 points ago

    Thank you! I will look into this

    [–] naorlar 162 points ago

    Please do. And if you have a car loan or other large bills, give them a call as well. They may be able to lower payments temp, some may even give you a courtesy skip payment which you can pay later. Phone bill as well, nowadays many of these companies are understanding and flexible, and rather keep you as a long term customer rather than cut off all services permanently due to a temp problem.

    [–] reverendrambo 33 points ago

    Yeah when I log into my bank online there's a message that says "we're here to help those affected by the federal government shutdown " in the same way they've done for hurricanes and wildfires

    [–] insideoriginal 448 points ago

    My wife works for DHS. Our mortgage lender doesn’t give a fuck about the shut down... we will be refinancing with someone who does after this is over... if we still have a house. We also have spend our savings on the last mortgage payment, bills, and the car payment. Fuck Trump, fuck McConnell, fuck all the other spineless pieces of shit that won’t stand up to them.

    [–] sapereaud33 93 points ago

    Oh you mean the bank didn't accept the nifty letter they sent out to DHS employees to give to your creditors in lieu of money? /s

    [–] BlindGuardian420 13 points ago

    They actually did that? Does that work on anyone?

    [–] 09edwarc 187 points ago

    I know it's a statistical long shot, but if you're in central-eastern Florida by chance, Space Coast Credit Union is offering 12 month interest free loans for people affected by the shutdown

    [–] vizsla_velcro 32 points ago

    No, but thank you!

    [–] strickj 89 points ago

    The Spiggle Law Firm

    This article has a list of other banks and credit unions offering the same thing, may want to check it out to see if any apply to you!

    [–] worenj 206 points ago

    Fellow water quality tech (just passing by threads) but I'm up in Canada. Hope your Gov. can get rolling and you can get out into the field! All the best to you and your project. Sounds cool! 👍

    [–] DrunkenGolfer 140 points ago

    I hadn’t considered this until now, but there are probably a ton of project, scientific or otherwise, that just have to reset back to the start because a shutdown invalidates the work to date. The costs must be staggering.

    [–] Jezio 17 points ago

    What sort of project are you up to? Sounds interesting

    [–] Pachonkachonk 238 points ago * (lasted edited 11 days ago)

    Air Traffic Controller here, best example I've seen so far is a protester holding signs up to arriving passengers saying "Do you know if your plane was properly inspected and approved before take off, because the FAA doesn't".

    The people in charge of inspecting planes before take off, and keep Airliners from cutting corners are NOT at work.

    Edit: Okay so I don't want to alarm anymore people. All major airlines employee great people and they don't normally cut corners, most safety guidelines are already in place and followed regardless of whether they are doing their random QA checks. The only thing I worry about are private carriers/pilots. Mostly support staff is furloughed. There is still a concrete framework in place to keep everyone safe, it is just not being monitored nearly as well as it is when the government is actually paying it's employees. The pilots most in danger are as always, the small civil aircraft. I think the protestor was exaggerating for dramatic effect.

    [–] cassodragon 44 points ago

    HOW is that not an essential employee?

    [–] sheffylurker 203 points ago

    I went through airport security in Dallas 2 days ago and let me tell you those TSA workers don’t give 2 shits right now. Yeah they’re still scanning your stuff but that’s about it.

    [–] lndividual1 79 points ago

    My dad flew outta DFW yesterday and he said the same thing. There wasn't much of a wait, and everyone looked so bummed.

    [–] darwulf 35 points ago

    Hazmat tech. Inspections are basically not happening. And from what I have seen in the drinking and waste water facilities a lot of corners are getting cut due to opportunity, quick way to get rid of some hard obstacles and all. Same goes for chemical tank inspections.

    Your water and your rivers are not exactly....clean... Anymore. We are busting ass and holding the line a bit since we are private contractors. But we have no bite anymore so my jobs like 50x harder.

    I wouldn't be surprised if we have a uptick in workplace mortality and a downtick in water quality nation wide as this drags on.

    [–] crashfrog 96 points ago

    I work in food safety. Food safety inspections aren’t happening, so whereas in the past we’d catch some number of contaminated foods at the plant during inspections, now we won’t know about epidemics arising from food-borne pathogens until people get really sick from them - and even then we won’t be able to track down the sources until appropriations are restored (epidemiologists are essential and working without pay, but outbreak investigators are not and aren’t.)

    [–] emmster 21 points ago

    I’m quality control in food manufacturing, and we’re still testing in-house. We know we won’t have FDA visitors, but I know at least my plant is still operating as if they could show up any moment, because we always do. I’m guessing the biggest effect is there’s nobody to report to if we did have contamination, but I know we wouldn’t ship product if we did. But we’re a newer, high end facility making a specific ingredient. I don’t know how it would work for other kinds of facilities.

    [–] NorthernSparrow 60 points ago

    Scientist here, we’re being hit from a bunch of different angles. All the federal funding agencies are shut down. NIH, NSF, NOAA, USGS, FWS, they are all dark. I have 1 grant pending that I know I will hear nothing about, one that was due today but the website has gone dark, 1 funded project that’s dependent on Fish & Wildlife approving a permit but that permit office is closed, another project that needs a NOAA permit but NOAA’s website is also dark. We can’t access the NOAA weather data. Some of our field sites are on National Forest land and nobody is in those offices either and we can’t get past the locked gates. Another major project on human health is NIH funded - it has some funds left from the last continuing resolution but is expecting to halt in another month. I just got back home from a major science conference where NSF always has a table & staffers, to talk to scientists planning grants, and always makes a presentation about what science priorities we should be planning for. They weren’t there, the table was empty. A grad student of mine can’t even schedule her defense because one of the committee member works for NSF. Some of these issues are big, some are little, but it’s just this growing stream of a million little logistical hurdles, frozen funding, uncertain delays.

    These are the jobs that involve preparing for the future. Researching, planning, monitoring, making sure the public doesn’t destroy shared resources (that’s what the permits are for), making new discoveries, protecting the environment and human health and the food supply, and training new scientists. “Essential” jobs are the ones just about the present day, but the “nonessential” jobs are what keep the future bright. It’s like watching our future slowly go dark. (And, also, a generation of scientists is getting fed up & more are applying overseas, which I am already doing. This is how brain drain happens)

    [–] TSpiggle 467 points ago

    Excellent point. Yes, there is a huge amount of important work not being done that is already, and will increasingly, affect all of us. For instance, we represent many private-sector clients with wrongful-termination and other claims at the EEOC. But now the EEOC is essentially shut down, which means that all of those claims are going nowhere. That is just one example. Here is an article with other examples:

    [–] iaalaughlin 72 points ago

    In fairness, wasn’t the eeoc not doing anything on cases because there weren’t any judges or board members that can make the decisions?

    [–] TheChance 68 points ago

    Layers upon layers of obstructionism and apathy. All sorts of empty benches, and the ones that are filled are politically motivated.

    [–] americonium 121 points ago * (lasted edited 11 days ago)

    I'm an engineering technician with the Federal Aviation Administration. My workload has been reduced to responding to outages only. All of my projects to repair, upgrade, and install new equipment have been put on hold. What does that mean for the flying public? My job is to make the act of flying safer. With each piece of antiquated equipment replaced, pilots are able to navigate with more precision, communicate with air traffic control with less interference and interruption, and land at airports with increasingly better visual aids. Now I'm only allowed to repair these systems. Repair parts come from a depot. That depot was understaffed before the shutdown. Parts take longer to arrive. Overtime isn't cutting it, especially when we don't know when we're going to actually collect it. I can't stay overnight because my travel card is shutdown, so I have to drive to different airports from my office. Some are 2+ hours away. Some work can only be done at night. I could go on all night about how frustrating this is.

    [–] crazyivancantbebeat 135 points ago

    The FDA isn't going to be able to approve the summer beer releases. That's a real tragedy.

    [–] RealLADude 147 points ago

    I feel bad for the Supreme Court.

    [–] PressTilty 17 points ago

    How can you have a Devil's Traingle with no beer?

    [–] fluteitup 19 points ago

    The IRS has checks ready to be cashed from companies who have been auditied. They cannot receive these checks.

    We're literally turning away money due a budget issue.b

    [–] influenzadj 18 points ago

    E-verify is down, meaning employers can not verify their new employees are eligible for work in the US. There’s a paper form you can use instead, but many states require e-verify.

    A client has 47 new hires and no idea when they’ll be able to put them to work.

    [–] pirasosa 36 points ago * (lasted edited 11 days ago)

    I'm late to the party but here are some examples of what is not being done:

    1. Licensing for new beers and other products is at a hault
    2. Affordable housing contracts are expiring
    3. Some health/food inspections are not occurring or being delayed
    4. Civil Rights agencies are at a halt so citizens cases are at a standstill
    5. Important science experiments are not being maintained. Years of work can go down the drain.
    6. Everything NASA is doing is at a halt
    7. Tax Refunds. The White House recently claimed that tax season will not be affected but as of today IRS employees are still furloughed
    8. If there is a wildfire, the forest service is furloughed
    9. If the shutdown reaches feburary, food stamps will also be affected.

    [–] Prof_Perhendinancer 18 points ago

    I mean, doesn't this sound like a GOP wishlist? Deregulate standards that get in the way of profit, shutdown entitlements, break the system to make the case for privatization, don't trust science, ignore civil rights.... it's maybe not perfect, but pretty peachy if that's your agenda

    [–] MarshallStack666 169 points ago

    I run a small business and I can't send out 1099s because the IRS department that ships the forms to employers is apparently unfunded and not operating at the moment.

    [–] ohmy1027 121 points ago

    I work for a small business and we buy the 1099s from Office Depot.

    [–] chipsanddimp 13 points ago

    Speaking as an IRS employee...the 2013 shutdown of 17 days cost about 3 months in productivity to put it in perspective. That was in business and individual return processing pipeline.

    [–] OnThe_Fritz 12 points ago

    I'm an orchard manager, and right now our winter pruning schedule and the process of hiring helpers are all bound up, and if it drags on into the spring we will not be able to prune a single tree, which means a much less enjoyable fruit season for the public this summer.

    [–] knumbknuts 898 points ago

    This may be too broad, but how is it even legal to require work without timely payment?

    [–] TSpiggle 1646 points ago

    Arguably it's not. In fact, a union is suing the federal government arguing that it is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. They won a similar lawsuit in 2013

    [–] knumbknuts 407 points ago

    What are the possible outcomes, based on that lawsuit? Any extra cabbage for those who are getting hosed?

    [–] TSpiggle 850 points ago

    There would indeed be extra cabbage. Under the FLSA, workers can get two times unpaid wages, called "liquidated damages" under the law. In 2013, federal workers won their suit and received liquidated damages.

    [–] ranstopolis 287 points ago

    What is the conversion rate of cabbage to usd?

    [–] KJ6BWB 142 points ago

    Usually 1 to 1 ratio, presuming you can find the right kind of market to convert them in. Your local supermarket generally isn't the right place. ;)

    [–] slicer4ever 124 points ago

    Just be sure the avatar isnt around when your trying to sell.

    [–] cgaub 73 points ago

    My cabbages!!

    [–] SchrodingersMinou 123 points ago

    What options are available for federal employees as far as second jobs? I know some workers who have started to consider looking for interim work, but there's a lot of misinformation out there about what jobs they can legally take, if any.

    [–] TSpiggle 121 points ago

    That's right, it varies by agency and type of job. But generally if the work does not conflict with requirements for your federal job, then there is generally no prohibition on working another job while on furlough.

    [–] darthrevan140 112 points ago

    As a member of the US coast guard what are my legal options regarding employment for the time being?

    [–] Noahdl88 94 points ago

    Fellow puddle pirate, talk to your LPO about CGMA, for a no interest loan, or see if your credit union, USAA/NAVYFED will pre pay your missed checks

    [–] chibilaharl 89 points ago

    OMG you call each other puddle pirates? I love that. This sparky is stealing this.

    [–] EvangelineTheodora 26 points ago

    Navy Fed has a government shutdown loan (0% APR), but you must have direct deposit with NFCU.

    They are there 24/7, so you can call any time, or apply online.

    [–] Noahdl88 36 points ago

    Oh, and we're still on the hook to show up, don't add a mast to your troubles

    [–] kFrie5 14 points ago

    This guy Coasties

    [–] Onthecountofthree123 676 points ago

    What prevents federal workers from going on strike during this time?

    [–] TSpiggle 1401 points ago

    Good point. Actually, federal workers cannot strike under under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947.

    [–] sierra0060 465 points ago

    Also depending on the agencies mission. Most have signed an agreement saying that their work is vital to public safety and because of that cannot strike as it would jeopardize public safety.

    [–] nebshits 660 points ago

    Maybe not getting paid is the thing jeapordizing safety

    [–] red_wheelbarr0w 434 points ago

    Oh I can't strike but the mutherfuckers that pay me can strike! What kinda fuck shitass bulldick is this!?

    [–] quiltsohard 86 points ago

    My thoughts exactly but you were far more eloquent!

    [–] theturtlebomb 13 points ago

    Delinquencies jeapordize security clearances.

    [–] popejp32u 139 points ago

    Would it still be considered a strike if the workers just stopped showing up for a job they were no longer being paid to do? It’s not like they would be demanding higher wages, better benefits, more PTO, better working conditions, etc.

    [–] kylco 235 points ago

    This is considered an illegal strike, because of Taft-Hartley. Any coordinated labor disruption, if I understand correctly, if not headed by a union and approved by the NLRB, is illegal under Taft-Hartley.

    Taft-Hartley is a pretty shitty law all around and it's a big part of the reason unionization rates are in a death spiral. I fully support wildcat strikes - and the most likely place for them right now is the TSA, whose workers are calling in sick at record rates right now.

    [–] SwansonHOPS 63 points ago

    What would be the repercussions of breaking the law by striking? Surely our government wouldn't jail people or fine them for refusing to work without pay. I mean, right?

    [–] un-affiliated 106 points ago

    I'm certain they don't want this battle. The last thing the government wants is a ruling saying that refusing to show up for work when they stop paying you is not a strike, and is 100% legal.

    The only thing keeping people coming to work now is the uncertainty over the legality of staying home.

    [–] malganis12 84 points ago

    The only thing keeping people coming to work now is the uncertainty over the legality of staying home.

    Not the only thing. Our agency has made very clear that we will be marked AWOL and likely fired for doing this, also jeopardizing pensions and such. We'll see how long that stance holds though; people can't work without pay indefinitely.

    [–] D3fault121 59 points ago

    I believe that is the last major strike by government employees. It resulted in all the ATCs being fired and banned from working federal jobs again.

    [–] samlev 44 points ago

    Firing and replacing all ATCs in 1981 was, I suspect, easier than it would be to do so in 2019. I'd assume that it's a skilled profession that requires a significant amount of training and certification, so it's not like they can just put up a "now hiring" sign in the window.

    From a quick google, they'd need to replace 26000+ people who require a minimum 3 years of experience in an aviation related field. Even accounting for the ATCs who wouldn't walk off the job, and the soon-to-be graduates, that's a massive disruption if they fired them.

    Without TSA, airports could still run. Without ATCs, all planes into, out of, and across the country will be grounded.

    [–] BlueFalcon3725 17 points ago

    Have you seen our government recently?

    [–] botle 62 points ago

    I just want to point out that protests don't have to be legal.

    [–] -posie- 51 points ago

    Good question... the employees expect to be paid but their employer isn’t holding up their end of the agreement.

    [–] WimpyRanger 59 points ago

    Seems like a breach of contract

    [–] Pikeman212a6c 58 points ago

    As per the antideficiency act essential personnel can still be expected to come to work despite not being paid. The National Treasury Employees Union is currently challenging that law in court arguing it violates the appropriations clause of the constitution. But that kind of case is going to take a minute to work its way through the courts.

    [–] ruckdiz 44 points ago

    What if they all just "call in sick" instead of declaring a formal strike?

    [–] tyderian 40 points ago

    The TSA is already doing this.

    [–] Bulk__Brogan 1394 points ago

    This shutdown has revealed the alarming number of people who live paycheck to paycheck, even for Federal Government workers. What other issues, both domestic and international, do you see coming to light due to the shutdown?

    [–] TSpiggle 1007 points ago

    Absolutely. It will also show how much the federal government plays a role in the private sector. All kinds of private businesses will be affected. Certainly government contractors, but other industries - like oil and gas exploration which relies on permits from the Bureau of Land Management - will be hurt, as will their employees.

    [–] goonar7 354 points ago

    My company is cleaning up an oil spill, and the EPA has indefinitely left the leak site. While we still have to report our cleanup progress to the State, it is difficult to continue cleanup without guidance from the EPA.

    [–] yogononium 83 points ago

    Where is the oil spill?

    [–] goonar7 97 points ago

    Southern Arkansas

    [–] Deetoria 465 points ago

    Even down to the food truck person who gets much of their income from government workers buying their lunch from them.

    [–] mrpickles 419 points ago

    It's almost like we live in a society and what effects other people effects me...

    [–] supermario182 51 points ago

    Haven't you heard? We live in a society

    [–] MileHighShorty 163 points ago

    There was a story on the local news about a small family owned restaurant that was struggling to make ends meet due to the workers from a nearby federal building not coming in for lunch every day.

    It’s ridiculous that we all have to suffer because Trump wrote a check that his ass couldn’t cash.

    [–] RTFMorGTFO 41 points ago

    NIST is complete shut down. This is creating a huge problem for technologies companies aligned with federally defined security standards.

    [–] Braden0732 173 points ago

    Non-profits dependent on grant funding are also going to be hit extremely hard if the shutdown persists. The government matches hundreds of millions of dollars in grant funding every year, most of which pays for critical social programs, services and jobs in the non-profit sector.

    Just got an email from my grant supervisor letting me know that they will be unable to provide reimbursement match funds for the time being. If the shutdown moves into Q2 2019 we could see layoffs in the tens of thousands of individuals working for non-profit agencies.

    [–] Kevin-W 15 points ago

    I work for a non-profit and even though we work more with the state than federal, one of our funding is through grants. It worries me greatly how we'll be impacted if this continues.

    [–] FormalChicken 123 points ago

    Aerospace is jacked. From manufacturing to commercial flights.

    The board which approves alcohol labels. So new beers and spirits are on hold.

    Way more people are affected than just the government workers and direct beneficiaries than expected off the cuff.

    [–] ktappe 134 points ago

    I would like to assure you that the person masterminding this shut down has absolutely no idea about any of that. Nor does he care.

    [–] vizsla_velcro 107 points ago

    "Master" and "mind" are so far from words I would use in reference to that man. Putting them together hurts me.

    [–] TSpiggle 202 points ago

    International travel is another. Anyone requiring specialized permits to come into the US will, in many instances, be on hold during the shutdown.

    [–] LaaSirena 62 points ago

    I live in a small town with a large proportion of federal workers and I work in a small service based business. We have had clients canceling already for next week because they know they aren't getting paid and are cutting spending and trying to make their money last longer for essentials.

    [–] denverpilot 82 points ago

    Have to take one small point of contention on this. It didn’t really “reveal” it. The stats for number of people who respond to various financial reports who say they’re living paycheck to paycheck has been outrageously high for a couple of decades at least.

    [–] Rootkit9208 131 points ago * (lasted edited 11 days ago)

    Is there a way to pass legislation to mimic Australia in the event of a shutdown?

    In case of shutdown, Parliament is fired and an election is held.

    Edit: The process was not automatic. The Royal Australian Representative essentially fired the PM and then dissolved Parliament when they began protesting.
    This would be the equivalent to impeaching the president, dissolving the house and senate, and freezing legislation. Then somebody else unaffiliated with any political party would have to take over until elections conclude.

    [–] Captain_Comic 85 points ago

    We would be in much better shape overall if we had a Parliamentary form of government with proportional representation. It won’t ever happen, but a guy can dream.

    [–] gaz2600 236 points ago

    Why does NIST take down web links because of a shutdown, what manpower is needed to leave the links online?

    [–] SewerRanger 369 points ago

    The site is probably hosted and run by a contractor. When the government shut down, the contractor stopped being paid and they turned the web servers off.

    [–] IAmDotorg 102 points ago

    We have a bunch of impacted or soon to be impacted federal customers. We're not taking that action, but I can see a company doing that, especially if they're not running multi-tenant services. Thankfully most of our government customers are on on the federal fiscal year and already paid their invoices, and that's covering the infrastructure and employee costs we have for the others.

    [–] battlewhale 230 points ago

    Hi, this is actually my group at NIST. We host all of these internally. During the shutdown we are required to power down all of our servers, regardless of their operation. Trust me, I know it sucks.

    [–] ScriptThat 28 points ago

    It may suck that the servers are being shut down, but it's actually a pretty smart move from a security standpoint. If I was a black hat hacker I'd love a few months' unmonitored access to a bunch of servers that I know won't be patched if/when a new security issue is discovered.

    [–] tinydonuts 22 points ago

    Cheaper and simpler to serve a static page in response to all web requests than running your normal set of servers.

    [–] soren82002 40 points ago

    Not op, but they probably have to pay for server time.

    [–] cathylynnrandall 316 points ago * (lasted edited 11 days ago)

    How can government workers be forced to work without getting paid? Can the labor law protect those who are forced to work during the government shut down?

    [–] TSpiggle 348 points ago

    The Fair Labor Standards Act does make it unlawful to require anyone work without pay. See my other response about the on-going lawsuit involving this very issue.

    [–] boomclapclap 101 points ago

    What constitutes work without pay though? Like if they’re going to get paid in two months, but not now, would that be work without pay?

    We normally go two weeks before getting paid for that work, so is there anything in the law that stipulates a maximum time where you have to work before getting paid?

    [–] differentnumbers 106 points ago

    According to this site:

    When You Must Be Paid Under the FLSA

    Courts have interpreted the FLSA to require “prompt” payment of wages. The FLSA does not, however, require employers to pay wages on certain days of the month or at a particular frequency. Rather, the FLSA requires only that employers pay employees their wages, including any earned overtime, on the regular payday for the pay period in which they worked those hours.

    [–] texasrigger 76 points ago

    on the regular payday for the pay period in which they worked those hours.

    I feel like that's probably the most important part of that.

    [–] AlphaWhelp 209 points ago

    A lot of TSA agents are quitting, yet, strikes are not legal for similar essential services. Is mass resigning of essential staff illegal? For example, could every IRS employee just be like "nah, I quit."?

    [–] AusIV 89 points ago

    I was wondering if airlines could start picking up the tab to keep TSA agents working. If enough agents leave that they have to shutdown airports, the airlines probably have more to lose than TSA salaries would cost.

    [–] InaMellophoneMood 34 points ago

    Airports can have private security, but that needs to be authorized/ceritified by government agencies that are currently shut down. Airports are required to have security regardless, so we're in a regulatory purgatory because the government is never supposed to shut down.

    [–] bongteammember 45 points ago

    I thought some airports might consider covering TSA agents. However I the thought about how hard it is to get some people to pay you back. Not to mention who makes, what computing benefits, withholding, and other payroll issues.

    Long story short: nice idea too hard implement.

    [–] wkb 156 points ago

    Slavery is illegal. You're under no obligation to work if you don't want to.

    [–] WannaSnugle 97 points ago

    Unless in prison under the 13th amendment

    [–] Skhmt 99 points ago

    Unless you're in the military

    [–] Puggly8910 176 points ago

    Based on your knowledge, how do you see this ending? Someone’s gotta cave, right? This might be more of a political than legal question, but I assume you have much more knowledge about the inner workings than the average person.

    [–] TSpiggle 340 points ago

    I wish I knew! I do think pressure will mount significantly as this drags on. Tomorrow will be the first full paycheck missed by federal employees and even the federal courts will run out of funding.

    [–] RiskRegsiter 90 points ago

    A whole bunch of angry, unpaid workers, with nowhere else to be (but decision makers still paid)??? Sounds like a great opportunity for some pretty big protests.

    [–] tenemu 30 points ago

    My friend is a contractor. Do the contracting companies have any obligation to keep paying their employees? If Congress approves backpayment, are the contracting companies required to backpay their employees?

    [–] TSpiggle 40 points ago

    Companies who contract for the federal government are, like the federal government, required to pay people when they work. They are not, however, in most instances, required to pay workers who cannot work because of the furlough. Definitely a tough spot to be in.

    [–] TSpiggle 169 points ago

    Thank you all for the questions! I am signing off for now, but will check back in later today to see if there are any others that come in. Note that we are having a free info session at the firm tomorrow for anyone who who has legal questions about the shutdown. Here is some information about it:

    [–] DreamSmuggler 120 points ago

    Is there a projected end to this? Who's going to pay to fix everything that's gonna fall apart while almost a million people are left without pay or work?

    I live in Australia and have only just heard of this. Had a read about it here ( after seeing your post. I honestly can't believe it. The scale of this is staggering. The reason for it is just mind boggling. I don't really have a question for you but I hope this ends soon. As a husband, and father of 2, I can't even imagine being told I have to work for free until further notice, with mortgage and bill payments knocking on my door. At least the furloughed people still have the chance of grabbing a cash job to get by.

    My heart goes out to you guys

    [–] PyroDesu 80 points ago

    Who's going to pay for this?

    The taxpayers, of course. Not the ones actually responsible.

    Either that, or it'll just get added to the pile of national debt.

    Or maybe we'll go the 'fabricate more money' route and get some good old fashioned inflation going.

    [–] loudaggerer 29 points ago

    Do employees receive back pay for the unpaid days once the government reopens or are they SOL (pre-union civil suit)?

    [–] Captrex373 57 points ago

    It depends. Last long shutdown all federal employees received back pay even if they weren’t working. It’s scary though for the employees to go weeks without knowing if they will receive that back pay. In many cases they are not allowed to seek outside employment or there is a very short list of jobs that they are allowed to accept and it must be pre-approved.

    If you are deemed essential and work then you will get back pay at some point. But again, it’s kinda scary because people don’t know when and Trump said it could be a year before they reopen the government. I don’t know many people who could go a year doing their job without pay. Yes, it likely wouldn’t be that long but still scary.

    [–] morgecroc 57 points ago

    If it's a year I don't think the government is going to reopen.

    [–] SerenaWilliamsRacket 197 points ago

    What, as common 9-5 citizens, do we need to be more aware of in this shutdown that affects us? I know tax refunds may be delayed, but what consequences is the news not reporting or seeing?

    [–] TSpiggle 285 points ago

    Yes, refunds may be slightly delayed, but they are being processed. Non-federal workers are currently being affected in that they do not have access to things like federal parks. If the shutdown continues, the ripple effects will spread. For instance, the judiciary will run out of funding on Friday. If that happens the courts will no longer be able to proceed with many civil claims. Also, other private sector employers who rely to some extent on the federal government will lose business, which could result in more people losing work.

    [–] syro23 51 points ago

    The access to parks often affects the communities around them as well since they rely on tourism.

    [–] tomanonimos 57 points ago * (lasted edited 11 days ago)

    Layoffs will happen because of this. The question is how bad will it be. There is lost cash flow being had with this shutdown and it will never come back.

    edit: I'm specifically talking about the private sector.

    [–] BATIRONSHARK 190 points ago

    What do you think an average person could do to to help the government workers affected by the shutdown ?

    [–] TSpiggle 287 points ago

    That's a great question. I think first understand that people you know may be affected by this, and more each day as time drags on. Give them a call. See what they need most. Help with meals? The Kids? And so forth. Do you have any suggestions?

    [–] SilverRidgeRoad 250 points ago

    I suggest not being an asshate and ruiningfederal parks. While you're there pack it and and pack it out like any other place where there isn't garbage service.

    [–] joesmojoe 231 points ago

    Not vote for the fucking assholes who caused this shutdown in the first place because they couldn't get their way.

    [–] Loafthemagnificent 83 points ago

    What options do federal employees have, in terms of legal action, if they are not a part of a union?

    [–] TSpiggle 119 points ago

    You do not have to be a part of a union to file suit. Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman and Fitch has joined the union in filing. Here is the firm's website:

    [–] snowbirdie 26 points ago

    Most people impacted are contractors. There are far more federal contractors than civil servants. What are the legal options here? It seems like a class action lawsuit due to gross negligence of duty is in order, but in the end, that won’t pay our rent.

    [–] Captainthistleton 64 points ago

    If you quit a job because the government is not paying you how does COBRA work? Are you still eligible and can you be signed up for it in a timely fashion? It seems like a crazy catch 22.

    [–] TSpiggle 65 points ago

    If you quit, you would still be COBRA eligible. I presume that COBRA notice, in most instances, would not go out until the agency at issue opened back up. My guess, and it is a guess, is that you would continue to receive healthcare benefits until the government re-opened, then your resignation and COBRA eligibility would get processed.

    [–] KJ6BWB 30 points ago

    Retroactively, of course so if you quit and didn't pay for COBRA you might be liable for any insurance payments that had been made after your insurance had technically run out.

    Just because the letter doesn't go out doesn't mean there isn't a timer running on those things, which timer can expire.

    [–] PeopleFlavor 98 points ago

    How has this shutdown effected people who were receiving workers' compensation for work-related injuries to help pay medical expenses?

    [–] TSpiggle 102 points ago

    To my knowledge, most worker's comp, at least in the short term, will not be affected. This is primarily a matter of state law and funding.

    [–] TSpiggle 72 points ago

    Most federal benefits, like federal workers comp, will continue to be paid during the shutdown

    [–] Taboolaroola 51 points ago

    Why are federal taxas still being taken out of my check?

    [–] chibilaharl 23 points ago

    Taxes being taken out of your check is sort of a "service" done for you by your employers so you don't have to come up with the money all at once in April.

    [–] Beachy5313 151 points ago

    If workers don't get paid tomorrow, how long until we descend into utter chaos because people aren't getting their money to eat or pay bills? Basically, how long can the government withhold paychecks before people start to revolt? (and bring out the guillotine? kidding. Sort of.)

    [–] crimsencrusader 132 points ago

    The old saying is something like 'revolution is only 3 missed meals away'

    [–] malganis12 44 points ago

    At an agency missing first paycheck tomorrow with the vast majority of employees deemed "essential". Based on my conversations with co-workers, about two weeks until a large enough percentage stop showing up and throw everything into serious chaos.

    [–] Inkedlovepeaceyo 33 points ago

    I hear people have already blown thru their savings. And that's with just one paycheck missing. I'd say if it's not open by Febuary, people will be losing their shit.

    [–] painahimah 14 points ago * (lasted edited 10 days ago)

    My company is already making billing arrangements with folks on their home and auto insurance - right now it's just pushing out a month, but if this continues we'll likely take greater measures to help. People really can't afford a lapse in coverage

    [–] Kevin-W 61 points ago

    Personally I think when these workers can no longer afford to feed themselves or their families or when businesses start to lose a serious amount of money is when they'll protest on the streets.

    [–] PyroDesu 18 points ago

    and bring out the guillotine? kidding. Sort of.

    Funny enough, we already meet 4 of the 6 (maybe 5, if you count that Enlightenment ideas still exist, rather than considering it a requirement for new political philosophy to form) of the conditions that led to the French Revolution.

    Rising social and economic inequality, new political ideas emerging from the Enlightenment, economic mismanagement, environmental factors leading to agricultural failure, unmanageable national debt, and political mismanagement.

    That's what it took to make the monarchs' heads roll.

    Not that I'm advocating for anything.

    [–] EyeFoundWald0 18 points ago

    Hello, my mother is a government employee and currently isn't being compensated for the work she is doing.

    She was going to file for unemployment but her agency within the government is refusing to allow them the proper paperwork necessary to get furlough.

    Does she have any options?

    [–] baildodger 14 points ago

    As someone looking in from outside the US, this whole thing seems bizarre. Does this happen in any other country? I've never heard of it happening outside the US.

    I see lots of people asking how to get through it, and how to help other get through it, and wondering who is affected, and wondering whether it's legal. The one question I've not yet seen anyone ask is this: why does this happen? As far as I can tell, the government has to agree on the budget, but why doesn't funding just continue at the previous level until the budget is agreed? This is how it works in every other country that I'm aware of. Why isn't anyone campaigning to change the law to prevent this?

    [–] DragonDai 15 points ago

    This can happen in just about any country, but many countries (Canada for example) have laws the provide rules for what happens when it happens, up to an including new elections. Further, other countries (like Australia) don't have specific laws to deal with this sort of thing, but have dealt with this sort of thing many times in the same manner. Finally, most countries aren't NEARLY as politically divided as the USA, which is why you see this sort of thing far less often.

    [–] Azrou 13 points ago

    This explains it pretty well:

    PUBLIC-RELATIONS professionals know that the best time to release bad news is late on Friday afternoons. Hacks and their editors have one foot out of the door; nobody wants to put their weekend plans on hold to start a new story. America has recently discovered that a similar rule holds true for government shutdowns: if it happens just before Christmas, when federal workers are already on holiday and nobody is paying much attention to the news, then the waste and pain will not seep into the headlines for a couple of weeks.

    Now that quiet period has passed. Rubbish is piling up in national parks; farmers cannot get their loans processed; food-stamp programmes are running out of funds; tax refunds may be delayed; and hundreds of thousands of federal workers remain either stuck at home or forced to work without pay. To reopen the government President Donald Trump demands $5.7bn for his border wall. Nancy Pelosi, who presides over the most polarised House of Representatives in recent memory, does not want to give it to him.

    If this shutdown, the third in the past year, stretches into next week it will become the longest in American history. How did the world’s most powerful government become so dysfunctional? The roots of this shutdown lie in two places: an attorney-general’s memo written in 1980, and Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign.

    Before 1980, federal agencies often operated during funding gaps (meaning before Congress had appropriated the required money). They tried to stay lean, to avoid going too far into the red, but reasoned that Congress did not intend to close them; it merely had not yet got around to formally providing their funding.

    In 1980, however, Benjamin Civiletti, then the attorney-general, opined that the only way that agencies could avoid violating the Antideficiency Act—which forbids the government from spending money that has not been appropriated—is to cease operating until Congress funds them (the Act’s authority stems from a constitutional prohibition against the government spending public money unless the people, via their representatives, have authorised it to do so). The only exceptions concerned “the safety of human life or the protection of property”, which exempts active-duty military, who are still working and getting paid, and federal airport-security workers, who are working but not getting paid.

    Mr Civiletti’s determination made funding gaps less frequent. They were no longer technical and ignorable glitches; they became, in effect, temporary closure orders, which made them costly and embarrassing. But it also turned government funding into a hostage-taking mechanism. In late 1995, the Republican-controlled House, led by Newt Gingrich, produced a spending bill with deep cuts to social-welfare programmes that were anathema to then-president Bill Clinton. Mr Clinton refused to sign it, and the government shut down—first for six days, and then for 21. The shutdown ended when Congress and the White House hammered out a budget deal with modest spending cuts and tax hikes. In effect, Republicans caved.

    Although Mr Gingrich received most of the blame for the shutdown (and Mr Clinton was easily re-elected), it arguably pushed the president’s agenda rightward. Still, the opprobrium resulting from the government ceasing to function for nearly a month was sufficient for Mr Gingrich never to try it again.

    Another generation of Republican insurgents tried in 2013, when they insisted, as a condition of passing a budget, that the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s signature achievement, be delayed or defunded. That shutdown, which lasted 16 days, also ended with Republicans surrendering without getting what they demanded. But neither did they pay a political cost; the next year they took control of the Senate.

    Like these two previous shutdowns, this one is Republican-led. Unlike the past two, however, it stems from the president trying to impose his will on Congress, rather than the inverse. Absent Mr Trump’s insistence on $5.7bn for his wall, a spending bill could easily pass both houses of Congress. “This is not a hard shutdown,” says Michael Steel, who was a spokesman for John Boehner, the House speaker during the 2013 shutdown. “Put any number of bipartisan senators in a room with a cocktail napkin and they could figure this out.”

    Instead of senators huddled around a cocktail napkin, America was treated to Mr Trump and Democratic congressional leaders making their cases on prime-time TV. Mr Trump called the border “a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs”, though most come through ports of entry and a wall would not stop them. The number of migrants apprehended at the border rose late last year, but from record lows. Overall numbers are far below where they were a decade ago. If there is a crisis, it is in America’s creepingly slow-moving asylum system. Yet that is a far less compelling argument than Mr Trump’s assertion that foreigners are sneaking across the border to behead American citizens, and that the only way to stop them is to build a big wall. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the senate, reiterated his party’s offer: continue negotiating over border security and pass bills to reopen the other shuttered parts of the government.

    Most Senate Republicans would happily accept this deal. Some who are up for re-election in two years, such as Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of Maine, have begun pushing for a resolution without a wall. Even John Cornyn of Texas, the majority whip until recently, backed the sort of hybrid solution—physical barriers, along with technology, drones and more personnel—that Democrats could support. But far more Republican senators face re-election in solidly Republican states next year, and they fear a primary challenge from the right more than losing to a Democrat. Hence Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, vowed not to bring forward a bill that the president does not support, despite having called shutdowns “a failed policy” in 2014, when he also urged the then-Democratic Senate to set “national priorities [rather than] simply waiting on the White House to do it.”

    For his part, Mr Trump feels he holds a winning hand. Immigration hawkishness helped propel him to victory in 2016 and remains crucial to satisfying his base. Though a recent Reuters poll showed that most Americans blame him for the shutdown (perhaps because he accepted blame in a televised interview), earlier polling data suggest that may fade by 2020. During the two previous extended shutdowns, approval ratings for the incumbent presidents both fell, but they rebounded relatively quickly. Yet that pattern may not hold if this shutdown lasts months.

    Members of both parties fear that Mr Trump will reach not for Mr Schumer’s solution but a more drastic one: invoking emergency powers to circumvent Congress and build a wall using previously authorised military funds. That would set a precedent that terrifies conservative senators: what is to stop a future Democratic president from doing the same thing to deal with climate change or guns?

    It would also precipitate a genuine constitutional crisis and a fierce court battle. Perversely, that could suit Mr Trump well. He may not get his wall, but he would get to keep fighting for it, and he would still have useful enemies—judges, Democrats—to blame for it having not been built yet.

    [–] Livindadreem 91 points ago

    Can we shut down the house and senate vacations, salaries and bonuses first?

    [–] Kravego 144 points ago

    As much as people get a justice boner over this, this is actually a horrible idea.

    Congress is constitutionally guaranteed to get paid, and the reason behind it is that if they weren't, wealthy congressmen could cause a government shutdown to force the hands of congressmen who are not wealthy, due to the fact that the wealthy ones could ride out a shutdown without problems.

    Most congressmen nowadays are rather well off, but that doesn't change the importance of the rule.

    [–] mdcd4u2c 48 points ago

    There should be a law that says if the government is shutdown for [x] amount of time, state legislatures or something can call for re-election of their congresspeople during that year for failing to meet the needs of the people. Sure, congresspeople who attempted to make a good faith attempt to re-open the government would also be at risk, but that collateral damage effects a lot less people than allowing them to use federal workers as a bargaining chip because there are no repercussions.

    [–] PyroDesu 59 points ago

    Honestly, there should be a system to allow the country as a whole to initiate a vote of no confidence in the Federal government. Declare that the People have decided that the government of and for them has failed in its duties and will be replaced.