Debra D’Agostino, Founding Partner of The Federal Practice Group, was recently featured on Federal News Radio’s Legal Loop segment discussing the National Federation of Federal Employees sequestration lawsuits as they come to an end. The lawsuits, filed in connection to the sequestration and resulting furlough two years ago, were brought by bargaining unit employees against two different Department of Defense facilities, an army depot and an arsenal.
According to D’Agostino, both facilities are considered working capital entities. This means they receive initial capital through congressional appropriation, and then become self-supporting. Because the entities make their own money and are self-funded and self-supported, the lawsuits claimed that they should not be affected by sequestration, and should instead be able to use their own money and budget to pay employees in order to avoid furloughing employees.
Similar issues have been raised by other government offices not funded by direct appropriations. In many of those cases, results have been reached not in employees’ favor. As D’Agostino notes, this is because working capital entities, despite having their own budget, are still beholden to the Secretary of Defense, who controls the Department of Defense, to which the working capital entities belong. Furloughs are typically considered a reasonable management solution to financial restrictions.
You can listen to the entire Federal News Radio segment featuring Attorney D’Agostino here.
Attorney D’Agostino often provides her extensive insight into federal employment law to news and media outlets. Backed by more than a decade of experience, Ms. D’Agostino has fought on behalf of federal employees regarding a wide range of issues.