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Contract Cleaners Losing Money During Partial Government Shutdown

January 3, 2019

Contract janitors are among the approximately 2,000 employees servicing federal buildings who permanently lost wages over the holiday season when funding ran out for a number of agencies following the partial U.S. government shutdown, The Washington Post reports.

About 800,000 federal employees are out of work at the Commerce Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Transportation Department, Forest and National Park Services, and other government operations. These employees have gone without pay since the shutdown went into effect on December 22, Business Insider reports. Most of these employees will eventually receive back-pay. However, janitors, security guards, and food service workers who work as contractors will not. As their payments come from the contractor rather than the government, if the government cannot pay their employer, the contract workers will not receive a paycheck. Some contractors are told to use their sick days or vacation time to cover lost wages, while others take extra hours at second jobs.

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