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Some Federal Employees Will Still Get Paid If The Government Shuts Down

Some Federal Employees Will Still Get Paid if the Government Shuts Down

By Ethan Barton

Some government employees can still collect paychecks on the taxpayer’s dime for doing federal union work during a shutdown, according to the government’s human resources agency.

Government employees who are exempted from a shutdown can still use official time — the bureaucratic term that allows federal union representatives to conduct union work on government time, guidance from the Office of Personnel Management shows.

“Exempted employees … serving as union officials may continue to be granted official time to the same extent and in the same manner as they would under non-shutdown conditions,” the guidance said.

“Exempted employees” are government workers who aren’t paid through annual congressional appropriations for various reasons, according to the guidance.

The guidance also describes a “narrow set of circumstances” where official time can be used during a shutdown. A representative can get a government paycheck for union work if they need to assist an employee who’s under an investigation that’s needed “to protect life and property.”

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