Government Shutdown Affects Enforcement and, Eventually, Courts

Government Shutdown Affects Enforcement and, Eventually, Courts

As of this writing, we are in day four of the government shutdown.  Employees in all sorts of agencies are furloughed, may or may not get back pay when they return, and are not supposed to work from home.  But deadlines don’t go away, so employees who need to file charges of discrimination, whistleblower complaints, OSHA complaints, and federal lawsuits need to keep going.

According to this article, the Department of Labor and the EEOC had readied their contingency plans (because this kind of budget fight happens pretty frequently).

About ten percent of OSHA workers will remain active, for emergency safety situations, and less than five percent of the EEOC workforce will be available to field charges of discrimination and continue litigation if their requests for continuances are denied.  Since the federal courts are not going to be open indefinitely, though, one would think that continuances will be freely granted.  Only a few people from the National Labor Relations Board are still working, and some federal agencies are completely closed.

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