Legislation Introduced to Pay DHS Employees During a Shutdown

By on February 24, 2015 in Pay & Benefits with 65 Comments

Legislation has been introduced to ensure that all Department of Homeland Security employees receive retroactive pay if there is a shutdown, regardless of furlough status.

The legislation (H.R. 1024) was introduced by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) and is co-sponsored by Rob Wittman (R-VA) Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Scott Rigell (R-VA), John Delaney (D-MD), and Barbara Comstock (R-VA).

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has introduced comparable legislation in the Senate (S. 554).

DHS funding is set to lapse at midnight on February 27th if no agreement is reached in Congress. There are about 240,000 employees in the agency, most of whom would continue to work during a shutdown. About 30,000 employees, however, would be sent home.

Federal employees who are considered “excepted” status must continue to work in a shutdown but would not be paid until the shutdown is resolved, whereas employees with “non-excepted” status would be furloughed and would face the possibility of not being paid for the days furloughed. For more on this see What Happens to Pay and Benefits During a Shutdown?.

Speaking on the legislation, Beyer said, “The role of DHS employees has never been more critical than it is today. Yet for the second Congress in a row, federal workers face lost paychecks due to furloughs mandated by partisan politics. Today’s bipartisan proposal ensures DHS employees will not lose their pay just because Congress cannot agree on a funding bill. The men and women of the DHS work hard every day to keep us safe. Now we have to uphold our commitment to them.”

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.