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Oct. 11 Paycheck Could be the Last Until Government Reopens

Most federal employees will receive only 60 percent of their usual pay in that check.

Most federal employees will receive a paycheck on Friday that’s only 60 percent of the usual amount, thanks to the government shutdown. This could be the last check they receive until agencies reopen.

Friday, Oct. 11, is the next pay day for federal workers for the preceding two-week pay period. Government employees who work a typical schedule -- 8-hour days, Monday through Friday -- will receive pay for only six days of work in their next paycheck. The most recent pay period ran from Sept. 22 through Oct. 5; the government shut down on Oct. 1, which means employees will not be paid for Oct. 1 through Oct. 4 in Friday’s paycheck.

That means employees with a typical work schedule will receive only 60 percent of their pay before the holiday weekend. For federal employees on a compressed work schedule -- 10-hour days with one day off per pay period -- and those who work weekends, including law enforcement personnel and air traffic controllers, the number of paid hours worked before Oct. 1 will vary.

Friday’s pay will be the last most employees receive before the government reopens, unless Congress acts to change that.

The government shutdown affects the pay of both excepted employees -- those still on the job -- and furloughed workers. The pay of most excepted employees will be delayed but eventually they will be reimbursed for their hours. Furloughed workers will only receive back pay if Congress approves it; those who worked for a few hours on Oct. 1 to close up shop will be paid for that time.

The House has passed two separate pieces of legislation during the last week related to employee pay, but the Senate has not acted on either yet. The Federal Worker Pay Fairness Act would pay federal employees who are working during the shutdown on time, rather than once the government reopens, through Dec. 15. About 1.5 million federal employees are currently excepted or exempted from furloughs.

The House also unanimously passed the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act on Oct. 5, which would give furloughed federal workers back pay when the government reopens.

Military service members and many Defense Department civilians, however, are getting paid on time during the government shutdown. The Pay Our Military Act, which President Obama signed into law on Sept. 30, ensures that all active-duty and reserve members of the armed forces, as well as any civilians and contractors working in support of those forces, are paid on time regardless of the shutdown’s duration.

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