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    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 1 points ago in IAmA

    Is she working as an essential/excepted employee? If so, she likely cannot get unemployment benefits as she is working even though without pay. (Of course, she could still try. The worst that would happen is that her claim would be denied.) If she if furloughed, she should not need anything from her agency. She can filed directly with her state's unemployment commission.

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 1 points ago in IAmA

    As the class-action lawyer below mentioned, probably not the best route. However, contractors forced to work without pay, or delayed pay, could still bring a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act. And for workers working for the same employer could join together and bring a collective action (similar to a class action) against that employer.

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 2 points ago in IAmA

    Echoing the other comments, it depends on the contract with the government. In some instances, government contractors will receive back pay, most will not if they were not working.

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 1 points ago in IAmA

    It would depend on state law, but some states do recognize constructive dismissal and you certainly can get unemployment insurance in most states if the reason you left was due to lack of work.

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 1 points ago in IAmA

    That's right, the same law applies to you. If you are required to work without pay, it is a violation of the FLSA no matter who the employer is.

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 1 points ago in IAmA

    Hi, everyone. I'm back on from 1-2. Many thanks to all who have participated. Some really great, informative comments. Many thanks for those! I'm going weigh in where I can. Sincerely hope that the need for this information has a short half life because the shutdown ends soon. This is unconscionable.

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 1 points ago in IAmA

    All very fair points. But try the court systems in China or Russia or Somalia or Mexico. European courts likely do much better than ours in terms of criminal justice, which I noted is seriously flawed here. But they are largely code based and do not allow for robust discovery, which is generally to the benefit of large companies and the government. In England, for instance, if you lose a civil case, you pay high court costs, benefits entrenched interests, not the little guy.

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 3 points ago in IAmA

    Exactly right. Indeed, it might get you double that, as violations of the FLSA require the employer in violation to pay double damages, in addition to attorney fees. That's what happened in 2013.

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 1 points ago in IAmA

    No the EEOC was working and processing charges, conducting mediation, etc. Yes, they lost quorum when Chia Feldblum's nomination was tragically blocked by Senator Lee. This does prevent the EEOC from pursuing cases being litigated by the EEOC itself, but these are a precious few.

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 4 points ago in IAmA

    It depends on the type of lawsuit and the arrangement with the attorney. For lawsuits filed by the federal workers not receiving pay for work performed, if they win, the government must also pay their attorney fees. For lawsuits against the government, the rate of pay for the attorneys is set by something called the Laffey Rate, which essentially sets an hourly rate for attorney based on years of experience. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffey_Matrix

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 1 points ago in IAmA

    Federal workers (as are all workers) are required to be paid for any time worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act. See my posts below about the lawsuit against the government on this issue. However, government workers, just like all workers are not entitled to get paid for time not worked. So if a federal worker quits, he or she would only be entitled to pay for the hours that he or she did work. Thanks for the question!

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 267 points ago in IAmA

    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.

    [–] When is enough enough? I am employment attorney here to talk about the federal government shutdown. Ask Me Anything! TSpiggle 43 points ago in IAmA

    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.