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Lawsuits: Making Feds Work During Shutdown Violates 13th Amendment

January 11, 2019 / Erich Wagner

A trio of lawsuits filed by federal employees this week argue that the law that allows agencies to require them to report to work without pay during a shutdown violates the Constitution’s due process protections and the prohibition against slavery. The National Treasury Employees Union, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and a group of five anonymous federal employees from unfunded agencies all filed separate lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the government’s practice of excepting some federal workers from shutdown furloughs while withholding their pay until after agencies reopen.