OPM Addresses Pay for Federal Employees Affected by the Last Shutdown

The Office of Personnel Management has issued guidance for handling pay for federal employees impacted by the brief shutdown in early February.

Although it was very brief, the last partial government shutdown may have impacted pay for some federal employees.

The Office of Personnel Management released a memo today providing pay guidance on the legislation that was signed to end the shutdown. For the most part, OPM said that the guidance provided in its last memo on handling pay for the shutdown on January 20-22 will be applicable to this one as well.

The memo also includes this information:

The lapse in appropriations began at the beginning of Friday, February 9, and ended when the President signed Public Law 115-123 later that morning. For many employees, the lapse in appropriations ended during their daily tour of duty. These employees had a portion of their tour during the lapse and a portion of their tour after the lapse ended. The retroactive pay provision in Public Law 115-124 applies to the hours during the lapse in appropriations.  Within the bounds of law, regulation, and agency policies, employing agencies have some flexibility to determine employees’ pay and leave status during the portion of their tour that occurred after the lapse ended. In exercising that flexibility, agencies should take into account the facts and circumstances applicable to an individual employee or group of employees, including the directions or lack of directions given by the employing agency and the reasonableness of the actions taken by the employee. Use of excused absence may be appropriate in the given set of circumstances.

The memo also notes that a pay freeze for the Vice President and certain senior political appointees has been extended through March 23 or the date of enactment of new appropriations legislation as part of the legislation that ended the shutdown.

A copy of the memo is included below.

Pay for Employees Affected by February Shutdown

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.