Judge denies requests for pay from workers affected by shutdown

A federal judge issued an initial ruling against a federal workers union’s lawsuit, “rejecting arguments from labor unions that unpaid work violates labor laws and the Constitution,” according to the Washington Post.

The judge seemed to acknowledge that if federal workers did not show up for work, it would create a crisis in the country, the Post reported:

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon said it would be “profoundly irresponsible” for him to issue an order that would result in thousands of federal employees staying home from work and not doing their jobs.

“At best it would create chaos and confusion,” Leon said. “At worst it could be catastrophic . . . I’m not going to put people’s lives at risk.”

Judge Leon did agree to hear further arguments in the case on January 31, though the initial ruling does little to inspire hope. With no settlement in sight in Washington and the judiciary moving slowly, at best, it is unclear what further recourse federal workers have—or how long they can wait.

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