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house Bill H.R. 339

Should Low-Wage Federal Contractors Get Back Pay After Shutdowns?

Argument in favor

Low-wage federal workers are among the most vulnerable people in government shutdowns — this bill would protect them from some of the worst effects of shutdowns by at least giving them back pay once the government’s reopened.

Glowurm's Opinion
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02/20/2019
Why should they suffer for the Idiot’s mistake? Damn it, pay them!
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Robert 's Opinion
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02/20/2019
If they worked or were PREVENTED from working they should be paid. The elitists including Trump who harmed the lowest paid contracted workers and their families are among the most despicable arrogant vermin on earth.
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02/20/2019
Frankly, I don't think it's fair or reasonable to punish federal workers for the failure of their government to perform its constitutional responsibility.
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Argument opposed

The workers affected by this bill can easily find other, similar work outside the federal government, as many places need janitorial, cafeteria, and security staff (which are the main jobs occupied by low-wage federal contractors).

JTJ's Opinion
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02/20/2019
If they worked then pay them. Otherwise no.
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Mark's Opinion
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02/20/2019
Unlike civil servants who get paid for doing nothing, we contractors prefer to be paid for the work we accomplish. Instead of giving us handouts just do your damn jobs for a change.
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operaman's Opinion
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02/20/2019
You want gravy on your government potatoes? Let’s hope you read the fine print on that contract. If you’re going after government money, just remember “full faith and credit.....” of government contracts. Maybe you should stick to the plain potatoes without the gravy and look to private companies.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 339?

This bill, the Low-Wage Federal Contractor Employee Back Pay Act of 2019, would guarantee back pay to low-wage federal contract workers, including federally contracted retail, food, custodial, and security service workers.

Impact

Low-wage federal contractors; and government shutdowns.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 339

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to guarantee back pay to low-wage federally contracted retail, food, custodial and security service workers not getting paid during the federal government shutdown:

“Low-wage federal contract workers can least afford to be penalized by President Trump’s shutdown. Unlike federal employees, who have always been made whole after a shutdown, many low-wage workers, who are the focus of our bill, earn little more than the minimum wage and receive few, if any, benefits.  And, unlike many other contractors, those who employ low-wage service workers have little latitude to help make up for lost wages. We must act to ensure that low-wage, federally contracted service workers are not put at a unique disadvantage by the Trump shutdown.”

This bill has 42 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats. In the previous Congress, it didn’t have any cosponsors. After the 2013 shutdown, Rep. Norton introduced similar legislation that never received a vote.

Legislation similar to this was introduced in the last Congress. That bill, the Shutdown Prioritization Act, sponsored by Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), would’ve prohibited the Capitol from operating the Congressional gym and dining room during the shutdown and guaranteed back pay to the federal contractors working in those places. It died in the 115th Congress.


Of NoteVox reports that while federal government employees who aren’t currently receiving paychecks will likely see back pay once the current funding impasse is resolved, federal contractors don’t have the same luxury:

“Hundreds of contractors in federal buildings including janitors, security guards, and cafeteria servers are not only experiencing a sharp break in their work schedules, they also won’t be compensated for this pause, according to 32BJ SEIU, a labor union that represents many building service workers caught up in this shutdown. Additionally, thousands of contractors in roles ranging from IT to project management to research are potentially caught in a similar bind.”

The federal government uses contractors to fulfill many commonplace and essential jobs at agencies, such as providing security, food service, and janitorial work.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / sureeporn)

AKA

Low-Wage Federal Contractor Employee Back Pay Act of 2019

Official Title

To provide for the compensation of Federal contractor employees that may be placed on unpaid leave as a result of the Federal Government shutdown, and for other purposes.

    Why should they suffer for the Idiot’s mistake? Damn it, pay them!
    Like (93)
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    If they worked then pay them. Otherwise no.
    Like (41)
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    If they worked or were PREVENTED from working they should be paid. The elitists including Trump who harmed the lowest paid contracted workers and their families are among the most despicable arrogant vermin on earth.
    Like (64)
    Follow
    Share
    Frankly, I don't think it's fair or reasonable to punish federal workers for the failure of their government to perform its constitutional responsibility.
    Like (39)
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    Is the Pope Catholic?.....Does a bear s#$% in the woods?.....Is DJT a narcissistic, sociopathic moron?
    Like (24)
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    Why should those who would have a longer recovery period than higher paid federal employees, suffer at the poor decisions made by those who are in supposed leadership positions? Lower wage federal employees should receive back pay before other federal positions. The recent 35 day partial government shutdown caused by #45 will result in economic stressors for those in lower pay brackets that may be felt for years. That Sen. Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders did absolutely nothing during the shutdown to bring any of the House bills to the Senate floor for a majority approval to send to the WH, should tell Americans who they feel matters and who they feel are ‘disposable’.
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    Yes, federal contract workers should be provided with backpay. This is especially appropriate, since it was not due to a lack of work, but a political Republican game, against the innocent victims (the employees and citizens) of the United States. Instead of trying to figure out what the appropriate compensation is, just pay them the same average salary that all of Congress received during the shutdown.
    Like (16)
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    Unlike civil servants who get paid for doing nothing, we contractors prefer to be paid for the work we accomplish. Instead of giving us handouts just do your damn jobs for a change.
    Like (15)
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    All federal contractors should be paid
    Like (14)
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    You want gravy on your government potatoes? Let’s hope you read the fine print on that contract. If you’re going after government money, just remember “full faith and credit.....” of government contracts. Maybe you should stick to the plain potatoes without the gravy and look to private companies.
    Like (13)
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    It shouldn’t matter the wage they deserve back pay no matter what!! Maybe Donald Trump can use the extra $$$ he’s not paying his undocumented golf course workers he fired...
    Like (10)
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    Now that the precedent has been set the Shutdown can be used as a political weapon, yes they should be protected.
    Like (9)
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    These people are hardworking individuals they need to get back pay
    Like (9)
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    The government should not be allowed to fuck people over
    Like (6)
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    The politicians got paid and they closed the government I’m sure if The president lost his security detail his airplane etc and congress did not get paid shut downs would be short. How could we not pay them when we pay the LEADERSHIP
    Like (5)
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    They lost so much through no fault of their own. Back pay should come from 45’s salary, the salary of McConnell, and every Repugnacant who let the lockout go on.
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    If they worked then pay them but if not no pay.
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    If they worked during the shutdown and didn’t receive due compensation, then yes the should be paid. If the government did it’s job there would never be another shutdown.
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    H.R. 339 AKA the Low-Wage Federal Contractor Employee Back Pay Act ASSUMING THAT THEY WORKED DURING THE SHUTDOWN- - YES. I’d be in support of the passage of House Bill H.R. 339 AKA the Low-Wage Federal Contractor Employee Back Pay Act of 2019, would guarantee back pay to low-wage federal contract workers, including federally contracted retail, food, custodial, and security service workers. Low-wage federal workers are among the most vulnerable people in government shutdowns — this bill would protect them from some of the worst effects of shutdowns by at least giving them back pay once the government’s reopened. If they worked they should be payed. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻👍🏻Worked$$$👍🏻👍🏻. 2*19*19..........
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    This is a bad precedent to set. It’s bad enough we do back pay for people that had to sit at home during the shutdown. How about this, do your job, pass a budget at the beginning of the fiscal year as you are supposed to do and we don’t have to ever worry about these nonsensical questions. Then while you are at it, pin the debt ceiling the rate of spending you put in the budget so we don’t have to have that nonsensical fight. You said you were going to spend the money in the budget so fighting about the debt ceiling at that point is nonsensical as well. Bottom line - Do your jobs.
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