With the government shutdown at least temporarily ended, the American Federation of Government Employees is urging all federal employees who have been working without pay during the 35-day government shutdown to join its shutdown lawsuit "so they can recover liquidated damages for the financial harm they suffered."
And 32BJ SEIU Vice President Jaime Contreras demanded that the shutdown deal include back pay for federally-contracted workers. “As the shutdown created more suffering for hardworking people by the day, we are relieved that the government is set to reopen,” said Contreras, “but we will not give up the fight until our members get the back pay the president promised and they deserve.”
AFGE, the nation’s largest federal employee union, and the law firm Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch (KCNF DC) filed the first lawsuit challenging the shutdown on Dec. 31, 2018, and filed an amended complaint Jan. 9. “About 800,000 federal employees have gone without a paycheck since the start of the year due to this shutdown, which is the longest in U.S. history,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “While the agreement reached by the White House and Congress will put employees back to work temporarily and allow them to start getting paid, we will not stop fighting until we have full-year funding approved for all our agencies and until all employees are made whole for the income they have lost.”