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Top 10 Things to Know About Your Rights as a Furloughed Federal Employee

Written by: Federal Practice Group
Written by: Federal Practice Group

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    1. The Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 provides back pay for furloughed employees and those excepted employees required to work without pay.
    2. Furloughed employees and government contractors are eligible for unemployment benefits. Some states are providing unemployment benefits to excepted employees.
    3. Federal employees will be required to repay unemployment benefits.
    4. Furloughed and excepted employees can be directly billed as the enrollee for certain employment benefits (e.g., Long Term Care Insurance Program and Dental and Vision Insurance Program).
    5. Furloughed employees could be subject to discipline for engaging in outside employment, and agencies may require disclosure of any outside employment. Many agencies are permitting furloughed employees to engage in outside employment.
    6. Furloughed employees may be subject to discipline for raising money through crowdfunding (e.g., GoFundMe, Fundly, Crowdrise, Razoo, Kickstarter).
    7. 5 USC 7311 specifies that federal employees may not participate in a strike, assert the right to strike, or be a member of a union that “he knows asserts the right to strike against the Government of the United States.” 18 USC 1918 makes it a felony to strike against the U.S.
    8. Furloughed employees may have options to appeal the furlough to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. Relief is typically limited to back pay.
    9. If a furloughed employee believes they were furloughed because of discrimination or whistleblower retaliation, the employee may have options to file an EEO complaint or a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
    10. Excepted employees can take leave during the shutdown, subject to leave request procedures and supervisor approval.

For additional information, contact The Federal Practice Group for a consultation.

The Federal Practice Group 1750 K Street, N.W., Suite 900, Washington, D.C. 20006

Direct Phone (202) 862-4360

To discuss your rights with a federal employee EEO complaint lawyer DC believes in, call our offices today.

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