January 18,2019

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Nicole L'Esperance (202) 225-4515

Wyden Urges Labor Department to Ensure Federal Employees Working Without Pay are Provided Unemployment Compensation

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., this week sent a letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta requesting the Department of Labor issue immediate guidance to state workforce agencies to ensure that federal employees who are working without compensation during the Trump shutdown are provided with unemployment compensation.

“We are nearing the month mark for this shutdown, during which, federal employees instructed to continue work have not been compensated and left unable to pay critical bills and purchase the essentials,” Wyden wrote. “Reopening all federal agencies is an obvious priority. Yet, while we work to make that happen, we cannot ignore the need for UCFE guidance now, especially as the Administration calls more and more federal workers back to work and no end to the shutdown in sight.”

Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) is required to be paid “on the same terms” and “subject to same conditions” as regular unemployment insurance. Several states, however, have cited confusion over access to UCFE for non-furloughed federal workers who are working without pay and do not meet the traditional UC criteria. 

A full copy of the letter can be found here.