Congressman Wants to Pay Bonuses to Federal Employees Who Worked During the Shutdown

Recently introduced legislation would pay bonuses to federal employees who worked without pay during the recent partial government shutdown.

Recently introduced legislation would pay bonuses to federal employees who were excepted from the furlough that resulted from the partial government shutdown and therefore had to work without pay.

Introduced by Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA), the bill (H.R. 814) would pay a bonus “for each day during that lapse that the employee reported to the employee’s duty station and performed the duties of the employee’s position.” The lapse in funding it references was the recent partial shutdown that began just before Christmas on December 22, 2018.

How much would these bonuses be? According to the language in the bill, they would be 15% of federal employees’ daily rate of pay. They would be paid out on the same day that federal employees receive back pay from the shutdown.

Bonuses would be subject to any limitation on total aggregate pay and not be considered part of the basic pay of any employee.

Bonuses under the bill would also be made available to members of the uniformed services who were furloughed and working without pay.

The bill says that the bonuses would only be applicable to the most recent shutdown that began on December 22 and does not mention anything about future shutdowns.

Back Pay

Congress passed legislation to give federal employees back pay for the recent shutdown as well as all future shutdowns.

Some lawmakers are pushing to provide back pay plus interest to federal employees for the recent shutdown, and other bills would provide back pay to federal contractors as well. To date, none of these legislative proposals have passed.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of 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.