Congress averted a government shutdown yesterday – and it’s a good thing. Shutdowns can cause problems that drag out for years. Look no further than the employee pay issues surrounding the 2013 and 2018 shutdowns, which are still being litigated in court. Federal employee plaintiffs who worked without pay during the shutdown argue they’re owed damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The government argues that’s wrong, because under the Anti-deficiency Act, it would have been illegal to pay them during the shutdown. Lawyers are now filing briefs before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which is expected to sort out the apparent conflict between those two statutes. Federal employment Heidi Burakeiwicz represents tens of thousands of employees who sued for damages after both the 2013 and 2018 shutdowns, and she joined the Federal Drive to bring us up to speed on the cases.