Air Traffic Controllers, Working Unpaid, Sue U.S. Over Shutdown

(Bloomberg) — The National Air Traffic Controllers Association sued the U.S. government for forcing its members to work with out pay as a partial government shutdown nears day 22, the longest on report.

The air visitors controllers union is searching for a courtroom order compelling the U.S. to account for all of the wages and time beyond regulation pay to which its roughly 3,000 members are entitled and to pay them. The union claims the government is depriving its members of their earned wages with out due course of, in violation of the fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

It’s at the very least the third lawsuit filed by government employees for the reason that shutdown started 21 days in the past. The National Treasury Employees Union filed a criticism representing a Customs and Border Protection officer on Monday. The American Federation of Government Employees filed an identical lawsuit on Dec. 31.

The employees could encounter one other snag although. Judges all through the nation have been placing civil fits involving the U.S. on maintain as a result of government attorneys are additionally affected by the partial shutdown and unable to work in lots of circumstances. But U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington scheduled a listening to for Monday on the visitors controllers’ union’s request for a short lived restraining order.

The visitors controllers additionally claim the government is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay time beyond regulation and at the very least the minimal wage for all hours labored.

The jobs are so demanding that the Federal Aviation Administration “struggles to keep up a full complement of licensed Air Traffic Controllers, even under regular circumstances,” the union mentioned in its criticism.

Workers started sharing photographs of their $zero paychecks Thursday evening.

“Even realizing it was coming it’s nonetheless arduous to swallow,” Jeffrey Plendl, a union official, wrote on Twitter.

Both the Department of Justice and the FAA declined to touch upon the lawsuit. Air visitors controllers, visitors administration coordinators and different aviation security professionals that NATCA represents proceed to work with out realizing when their subsequent paycheck will come.

The case is National Air Traffic Controllers Association v. U.S., 19-cv-62, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

(Updates with listening to date in fourth paragraph.)

–With help from Alan Levin.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Harris in Washington at aharris16@bloomberg.web;Carlyann Edwards in Washington at cedwards136@bloomberg.web

To contact the editors accountable for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.web, Joe Schneider, Peter Blumberg

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