Shutdown Quiz: The Answers
1) False, most likely. While agencies have not yet issued their contingency plans for the current threat, reports from the last potential shutdown in 2011 show that roughly 60 percent of all federal employees would be deemed “essential,” and therefore excepted from the shutdown furloughs. Excepted workers include employees who are “performing emergency work involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.”
2) Excepted and exempted employees are different. Excepted employees perform essential work to protect life or property, while exempt employees are in positions paid using non-appropriated funds.
3) No, unless the shutdown ends before paychecks are scheduled to go out. Agencies are legally required to pay these employees for the days they work, but not until the president signs a new appropriation or continuing resolution.
4) Depends. It’s up to Congress, and it’s not guaranteed, especially in this fiscal climate.
5) No. Even if you have previously scheduled sick or annual leave, it will be canceled in light of a shutdown.
6) Possibly. It varies by state. Check here.
7) No. Not even excepted employees who don’t work on a holiday will get paid while in shutdown mode.
8) Yes. Alas, some good news! Agencies are required to except enough employees to allow these payments to be processed.
9) More good news! Yes, agencies can give out performance awards during a shutdown, which will be paid when funds are made available.
10) No. If you’re furloughed, you must stay home and not work.
12) Eventually, yes. Your premium share will accumulate and be withheld from your pay when you return to work.
13) If you are furloughed for two consecutive pay periods, you will receive a bill in the mail for your FEDVIP. You’ll have to pay if you want to continue being insured.
15) Yes. Retirees in both the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System will receive their benefits.
16) Yes, as long as you make a “prompt” return.
17) No, the decision to furlough -- and who gets furloughed -- is not up for negotiation. Agencies should engage unions on certain implementation issues, however.