As Trump Shutdown Drags On, Menendez Takes Action to Ensure Federal Workers Get Paid

As Trump Shutdown Drags On, Menendez Takes Action to Ensure Federal Workers Get Paid

800K federal employees won’t receive paychecks today

NEWARK, N.J. – As 800,000 federal workers miss paychecks today on day 21 of the Trump Shutdown, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez has taken several actions to guarantee federal employees will receive full back pay for wages lost as a result of the shutdown.  There are over 5,000 federal workers in New Jersey who are currently furloughed or working without pay.

“Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will not receive a paycheck today due to Trump’s unwillingness to reopen the government. These hardworking Americans who need to feed their families, pay their mortgages and put gas in their cars should not be used as political pawns,”said Sen. Menendez.  “As Trump continues his egotistical quest to build a wall in order to please right-wing pundits, I’ll am working to ensure all federal employees are fully compensated.  It’s time to put an end to this circus and restore stability and peace of mind to hard-hit American families.”

 Sen. Menendez has cosponsored two separate measures to ensure federal employees receive full compensation: 

  • The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, which would guarantee all furloughed workers receive retroactive pay once the government is reopened and funds are fully restored and guarantees back pay in the event of future shutdowns, passed the Senate yesterday. 
  • Earlier this week, the Senator cosponsored the Pay Our Coast Guard Act, bipartisan legislation to pay members of the Coast Guard, civilian employees and contractors.  There are hundreds of service members from New Jersey charged with keeping our waters safe that are currently being forced to work without pay.

Sen. Menendez yesterday joined 33 of his Democratic colleagues in urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to direct federal agencies to work with contractors to provide back pay to compensate low- and middle-income contractor employees.  Contractor employees have generally not received back pay after past shutdowns.

“Contract workers and their families should not suffer the consequences of a shutdown that they did not cause,” the senators wrote to OMB Acting Director Russel Vought. “Low-wage service contract workers perform jobs that are absolutely vital to the government, such as food service, security, and custodial work. Many of these workers live paycheck-to-paycheck, and cannot afford to pay their rent and other bills if the shutdown continues.”

On Tuesday, Sen. Menendez was joined by Senator Cory Booker and U.S. Congressmen Albio Sires (D-N.J.-08) and Donald Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.10) at Newark Liberty International Airport to call for an immediate end to the Trump Shutdown and highlight the impact it’s having across New Jersey.