Unpaid Federal Workers May Be Eligible for Damages under FLSA

Photo of Heidi R. Burakiewicz, partner, DC employment law firm KCNFDuring the 35-day partial government shutdown that began in December 2018, the government failed to pay many essential workers on time in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). KCNF partner Heidi Burakiewicz, in conjunction with AFGE, filed the first lawsuit on behalf of federal employees who were required to work without pay during the shutdown.

In a Bloomberg Law article, “U.S. Faces Double Damages Threat for Unpaid Work in Shutdowns,” Burakiewicz says that approximately 160,000 federal workers could be eligible for damages under the FLSA’s “liquidated damages” provisions – double back wages – and the full value of any overtime they worked during the shutdown as additional damages.

According to Burakiewicz, “One of the goals of the litigation is to ensure that employees who are required to work during future government shutdowns are paid on time.” These people who are working hard shouldn’t be left to wonder when their next paycheck will arrive.

Read the full article here.