Essential employees who are working will receive back-pay when the Gov't reopens. What about the non-essential employees who are not working? Will they get back-pay even though they did not work during the shutdown?

Due to the controversial nature of the question, please provide official sources, I'm not interested in conjecture. I was unable to find any info myself.

  • I know you already accepted an answer, but was your question regarding this specifc shutdown, or all shutdowns? Because in general the answer is no, non-essential employees are not automatically paid. A bill has to be passed authorizing it (although that has always happened, it's not automatic). – RWW Jan 22 at 18:56
  • @RWW - I was referring to this shutdown, but your comment was interesting as well. Thank you for clarifying that, as the accepted answer led me to believe Trump was the first to pass that kind of bill. – I wrestled a bear once. Jan 22 at 19:03

Yes, Congress passed a bill requiring all federal employees, including furloughed workers, be paid retroactively after the government reopens. The bill was signed into law by President Trump.

The summary of the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 is as follows:

This bill requires employees of the federal government or a District of Columbia public employer who are furloughed or required to work during a lapse in appropriations beginning on or after December 22, 2018, to be compensated for the period of the lapse. The employees must be compensated on the earliest date possible after the lapse ends, regardless of scheduled pay dates. Employees required to work during the lapse in appropriations may use leave.

  • Note that this bill, like all the bills like it for earlier shutdowns, does not authorize payment to the very large number of government contractors who have been furloughed. Conservative estimates of the number of contractors furloughed are well over 100k workers. – doneal24 Jan 23 at 16:56

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