Q&A - The Partial Government Shutdown Pt. 2

Continuing with today’s Q&A entry from Ignacio.

You would fire an employee for calling in sick during a shutdown. 

I’m not interested in distracting from the bigger points by making this about me but since you’re challenging me on this topic.  What happened in the 1980s when air traffic controllers went on strike? Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 of them because they decided to place their own interests over those of the job they were tasked with doing. I’ve simply suggested a different version of a similar thing. Lying about an illness to avoid coming to work for an extended period of time is similar to a strike. If someone lacks the integrity to simply be honest, they could resign to find other work. 

Now, specific to my situation. During times of significant adversity that require emergency broadcasts I work without additional compensation and in fact, often lose money as advertising that I might be compensated for often doesn’t air. During those stretches, I work 18 hours a day until traditional broadcasting resumes. That includes sleeping at the station, spending days away from my family and never earning a dime for the additional time spent working. I’m passionate about my work, it’s the right thing to do, and it’s the job I agreed to do.  

Pertaining to your suggestion that a small business owner couldn’t terminate employment during a shutdown type of event. That’s incorrect, especially in Florida. You’re able to terminate employment with anyone at any time, provided that it’s not based on discrimination of a protected class. 

2. These workers in their contracts or hiring papers DO NOT SIGN or is there anything in writing that these circumstances occur and are required to work without pay.  

Once again, I want to say thank you for your service.  I truly do feel for and I'm troubled by any of the essential service employees caught in the middle of this partial government shutdown. They deserve better from our elected leaders. Now, allow me to answer your question. Here’s current language used in employment agreements for federal employees deemed to be essential via DHS guidelines “must be maintained under all circumstances to ensure the safety and security of the nation and its citizens,”. 

It’s fair to say that a partial shutdown and uncertainty about when one will be compensated would be covered under the “all circumstances” mandate. What’s also covered is the guarantee that all federal workers who work during the shutdown will be compensated in full. That’s federal law. The question, of course, is the timing of when they’ll be paid in full. 

Photo by: JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images

 
 

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