Federal contractors may see compensation for wages lost during a government shutdown for the first time, a return only federal employees received previously.
The House Appropriations Committee announced June 11 that a collection of five planned appropriations bills would also include the Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act, which was introduced as a standalone piece of legislation in the House and Senate in January 2019.
From Dec. 22, 2018, to Jan. 25, 2019, the federal government experienced its longest shutdown in history, as lawmakers struggled to come to a consensus over funding for a border wall.
Federal employees were guaranteed back pay for that time, but some federal contractors have since told Congress that they were unable to pay some employees and faced the choice of either firing employees or going out of business.
“Contractor workers and their families shouldn’t be forced to go without pay due to a government shutdown they did nothing to cause,” said Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., who led the original Senate bill, in a news release.