Federal workers get $0 pay stubs.
Federal workers received pay stubs Friday with nothing but zeroes on them as the effects of the government shutdown hit home, deepening anxieties about mortgage payments and unpaid bills.
All told, an estimated 800,000 government employees missed their paychecks for first time since the shutdown began three weeks ago.
Fuming employees posted pictures of the $0 pay stubs on Twitter and vented their frustration as the standoff entered its 21st day. This weekend, it will become the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
Some Democratic lawmakers seized on the empty pay stubs as a way to renew criticism of President Donald Trump, who triggered the shutdown over his demands for funding for a border wall.
Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia tweeted: “It should be payday for hundreds of thousands of federal workers. But thanks to Trump, many are actually getting pay stubs like this. He’s treating them like the countless contractors he stiffed throughout his business career.”
Roughly 420,000 federal employees were deemed essential and are working unpaid. An additional 380,000 are staying home without pay. While furloughed federal workers have been given back pay in previous shutdowns, there is no guarantee that will happen this time.
Government contractors, who have been placed indefinitely on unpaid leave, don’t get compensated for lost hours.
The typical federal employee makes $37 an hour, which translates into $1,480 a week, according to Labor Department data. That’s nearly $1.2 billion in lost pay each week, when multiplied by 800,000 federal workers.
Many workers live paycheck to paycheck and would struggle if their wages or salaries were interrupted.
Bill Striffler, shown Jan. 9 with his wife, Theresa, is an air traffic controller and the president of the Newark Airport National Air Traffic Controllers Association. On Friday he received a paycheck for $0.