Judge D.C. The judge tells workers without a work permit that they should stay at work: NPR



Protesters protest against the closure of the government in Boston on Friday.

Scott Eisen / Bloomberg through Getty Images


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Scott Eisen / Bloomberg through Getty Images

Protesters protest against the closure of the government in Boston on Friday.

Scott Eisen / Bloomberg through Getty Images

A judge in Washington, D.C., ruled on Tuesday that federal workers without work permits who do not receive a payment due to a government shutdown should continue to do their job.

It is a setback for the workers who filed the lawsuit against the Trump administration.

"Calling people back to work, as the federal government is doing, without paying them is illegal," attorney Gregory O & # 39; Duden told NPR. O & # 39; Duden is the general counsel of the National Treasury Employees Union that filed the lawsuit in a complaint from the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers.

"We will continue our fight to rectify what we believe is a wrong decision," adds O & # 39; Duden.

The workers had sued for a temporary restraining order that would eliminate the obligation to go to work if they were not paid. O & # 39; Duden says it represents some 150,000 people, but seeks help for some 400,000 federal employees who have been considered "exempt," meaning they must work without pay. In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs claimed that the government has authorized agencies "to require that employees work in a much wider range of circumstances" than the law requires. They wanted the law to be unconstitutional and for government offices to stop demanding that workers do their work without paying.

US District Judge Richard J. Leon denied the workers' request for a restraining order that would require the government to pay its employees or allow them to stay at home, reports The Washington Post. He reportedly said it would be "deeply irresponsible" to issue an order that would keep thousands of workers out of work.

With his ruling, León maintained the status quo. However, he asked for more information from the government and the union, says O & # 39; Duden. The lawyer says the judge will hear additional arguments on January 31.

The Department of Justice representing the government rejected NPR's request for comment.

As the closure continues, thousands of federal workers visit the emerging food banks in the C.C.

The NTEU represents workers in the Internal Revenue Service, Customs and Border Protection of the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service and several other offices. The National Association of Air Traffic Controllers represents some 24,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration who work during the closure without payment, reports The Post.

"[Judge Leon] He indicated that he believed that federal employees would be paid at the end. "They may be paid, or not," says O & # 39; Duden to NPR. He says that although Congress and President Trump have expressed interest in issuing a retroactive payment to unpaid workers, "the president changes his mind a lot, and so I do not think any badumption can be made about whether they will be paid in the end" .

The closure is the longest in US history. UU And it has had wide effects on thousands of workers.

Admiral Karl Schultz, commander of the United States Coast Guard, tweeted, "To my knowledge, this is the first time in our Nation's history that members of the service in an Armed Forces of the United States have not been paid for a period of time in the badignments." He published a letter to members of the Coast Guard sharing news that USAA had donated $ 15 million to the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance program.

Today you will not receive your regularly scheduled paycheck. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time in the history of our Nation that the members of the Armed Forces of the USA. UU They have not been paid during badignments. Read more: https://t.co/5tLzGhK2nt pic.twitter.com/J2o00zWm0k

– Admiral Karl Schultz (@ComdtUSCG) January 15, 2019

Federal workers have resorted to visiting food banks and taking a second job to pay rent, mortgage, child care and other financial obligations.

The GuardianJamiles Lartey tells NPR All things considered The closure is having a great effect on black workers. African-Americans depend on the wages and job security of government work they historically struggled to find in the private sector, she says. Black-owned companies are also more likely to work with federal contracts, which will not receive late payments.

& # 39; Just stepping on water & # 39 ;: why the closure disproportionately affects black Americans

Attorney O & # 39; Duden says he hopes the next court hearing will advance the release of 400,000 federal employees exempted from their unpaid duty obligations.

"There was no victory today," concedes O & # 39; Duden. "I think this is part of a process, and our struggle continues."

Previous demands to recover the payment and damages from the government have taken years to resolve. Attorney Heidi Burakiewicz represents two people working in the Federal Bureau of Prisons who are also suing the government for the closure of this year. She says All things considered It took four years to win a lawsuit filed on behalf of federal workers during the 2013 closure.


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