UPDATE (1/30): Even though the government shutdown has ended, federal workers are just beginning to recoup lost wages and pay late bills. Protections are still needed for our civil servants as shutdowns have become more commonplace.
As the government shutdown drags on, over 800,000 federal employees are either furloughed or working without pay. With many scrambling to make ends meet, workers are facing evictions, missing mortgage, car and student loan payments, and are struggling to afford basic necessities. Additionally, some workers’ credit scores could be adversely impacted, which in turn could threaten the careers of those whose personal finances must be kept in good standing as a condition of employment. For example, FBI Agents are required to keep their credit in good standing to “ensure that Agents are financially stable and responsible” and that “missing payments on debts could create delays in securing or renewing security clearances, and could even disqualify Agents from continuing to serve in some cases.”
In order to help protect federal employees, Democratic lawmakers have introduced the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act (S.72). The legislation would safeguard federal employees impacted by the shutdown from eviction, foreclosure, vehicle repossession, missed student loan and bill payments, and losing health insurance due to missed premium. The protections would last for 30 days following a shutdown to give federal employees time to catch up with their bills and debt.
Protecting our federal workers is the least Congress can do to help alleviate the pain caused by the shutdown. Demand immediate passage of S.72 so workers won’t lose their homes, cars, careers, and healthcare.