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Unions: Anti-Shutdown Lawsuit Will Proceed, Despite Government Reopening

January 29, 2019 / Erich Wagner

Two federal employee unions said that they will continue to pursue lawsuits challenging the legality of agencies’ practice of requiring workers to work without pay during government shutdowns, even after the partial shutdown ended Friday. Earlier this month, the National Treasury Employees Union, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and a group of five federal employees all filed separate lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia arguing that agencies’ ability to require employees to work without pay during lapses in appropriations violates the Fifth and 13th amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and that the Trump administration’s expansion of which agency operations are deemed essential for the “protection of life and property” violates the Anti-Deficiency Act.