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Partial Government Shutdown Leads To Lawsuit

Lawsuits have become a predictable component of public and private disputes, no matter how large or small. Just watch “Judge Judy” and you’ll find an amazing number of people who failed to get Aunt Susie to sign a written payback agreement for that $250 loan she now claims was just a ‘gift.’ And then there are the huge claims. It only took days for a lawsuit to be filed over the partial government shutdown, as the Federal News Network reports.

Heidi Burakiewicz, a partner at Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman and Fitch, filed the lawsuit Monday afternoon in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. It seeks back pay — including overtime — and liquidated damages for exempted employees forced to work without pay.

Burakiewicz, who filed Monday’s action in conjunction with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), won a similar suit for 25,000 employees in the 2013 shutdown.

Judge Patricia  Elaine Campbell-Smith, then chief judge, sided with the plaintiffs. A consultant, Burakiewicz said, is still calculating the damages — equal to twice the pay for the shutdown period. She said because of the precedent from the 2013 case, she is confident the court will again decide in favor of the plaintiffs.

We’ll see. For those who are as fascinated by today’s rush to the court over virtually anything and everything, be sure to watch this blog and JLF’s research newsletter for thoughtful analysis of an array of legal issues by our expert, Jon Guze. Not receiving our research newsletter by email? It only takes 60 seconds to sign up here.

Donna Martinez / VP of Marketing and Communications

Donna came to the John Locke Foundation in January 2003 after freelance writing for Carolina Journal and contributing to projects for the North Carolina Education Alliance. He...

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