Government Employee Fair Treatment Act isn’t so fair to excepted employees

A federal employee weighs in on the Government Employee Fair Treatment Act, and suggests excepted employees should receive additional compensation for having to...

Is there anyone looking into or asking questions pertaining to fairness in regards to the “Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019” not being “fair” to the furloughed worker who had to report to work?

I strongly feel all excepted federal employees who reported to work during the 2018-2019 furlough should be granted special compensation. Congress passed the “Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019” for all furloughed federal workers to receive pay. House lawmakers also passed a bill to pay contractors who were also affected by the furlough. All non-excepted federal employees who stayed home received a “paid vacation,” and the handful of excepted federal employees get a “thank you” for reporting to work.

I’m an excepted federal employee who reported to work during the furlough. “Fair” compensation should be either pay or leave for the days/hours worked during the furlough.

Apply the word “fair” across the entire furloughed federal workforce, let’s include the handful of excepted federal employees.

We — the few excepted federal government employees — are a pool of employees who typically have higher level accesses, and systems we work on are accessible only at work, so teleworking for the majority is very, very limited to not at all.

During the 30-plus years while working directly or indirectly with federal government, I’ve experienced about eight federal government shutdowns. We all knew we would get paid, because Congress would “always” pass legislation to pay. So during those past shutdowns, which were much shorter time frames, I experienced little stress. Federal employees who didn’t need to report to work were not as stressed as the media projected. Many got to sleep in, do home projects and spend more time with family.

Everyone experienced a higher level of stress during the 2018/2019 shutdown, because it lasted very long. However, we few excepted federal government employees always experience the highest stress levels because we had to closely watch our spending. Since we had to report to work, we needed to purchase gas for our cars, pay parking and incur transportation expenses, while not knowing when our bank accounts would be replenished with pay.

–Anonymous federal employee

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