Military Pay Law could pave way for DOD civilians to go back to work

Posted at 12:00 AM, Oct 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-04 10:00:17-04

It’s in black and white and signed into law by the President himself--”provide pay and allowances to the civilian personnel of the Department of Defense providing support to members of the Armed Forces.”

So why are more than 400,000 DOD civilians still furloughed?

“They should be working today,” said Congressman Randy Forbes.

Forbes is one of 67 lawmakers who signed a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on the first day of the government shutdown, when they learned that civilian workers were being given furlough notices against the law's direction.

“It was not only intended, but everyone expected that was the way it was going to be enforced,” said Forbes.

The letter says the White House and the Office of Personnel Management were wrong in ordering the Defense Department furloughs, and they asked Chuck Hagel to bring all his civilians back to work immediately.

Secretary Hagel says he is working with his legal team to look at the law, and see if the White House will allow him to widen the bill's current interpretation, to include as many DOD civilians as possible.

“They have put barricades up to these individuals working, and this is not DOD, DOD believes they should be working,” said Forbes. “Go ahead to applying the law, and let these people go back to doing their jobs.”

Those people, though, are already struggling without three days of pay.

Furloughed federal employee Roger wrote to NewsChannel 3 asking about food stamps.

"Will families of furloughed federal workers qualify if the shutdown turns long-term?”

NewsChannel 3 went to the Virginia Beach Human Services office, and they tell us federal workers can come in to apply, bringing any pay stubs or bank account information to show they are not getting paid.


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