There’s an ongoing debate at work. My co-workers (deemed ‘essential’ federal employees) believe that, if we’re furloughed, we can still be required to work. They believe that we can be fired for not working even if we were not getting paid. This is assuming that, if required to work, we would not be paid.
My position is, if furloughed and still required to work, then we must be paid–at some point. I believe that nobody can be required to work for nothing. And, of course, that if one works, one must be paid.
Further, I believe that, if it is clearly stated that you will NOT be paid, ever, for working during the furlough, then you need not work, nor could you be fired for not working during the furlough period once the furlough is over. In fact, I’d think it would leave you in a stronger position since any firing could be contested for being a “reprisal.”
I mean, isn’t this one of the tenets for which the Civil War was fought?
So, legal types, what say you?