Has the requirement that Fed employees work without pay been challenged in court?

We live in unprecedented times.

Essential Fed employees must report to work without getting paid until the shutdown ends.

Has this been challenged in court?

I can’t recall a situation like this where employees are forced to work for several weeks without getting paid. (that’s assuming they will eventually get paid later)

Non-essential Fed employees are off work and can earn extra money doing odd jobs, cleaning houses, or even yardwork. The others are stuck at their non paying jobs and have few options for outside income.

I wonder how the courts would view terminating a employee that refused to work without pay?

This could be a growing problem as tge shutdown drags on.

This article inspired my question.

Sick leave isn’t an option and getting terminated seems to be a concern.

Essential government workers are most probably exempt union employee which means they have to work regardless if they get paid or not. It’s all in the contract.

In a couple of jobs I had, I was an exempt accountant for private companies and by agreement, that meant that if there was a shortfall for payroll, I would be one the last to be paid when the money became available (laborers were always paid first, even though they often made more than I did) and if the company were to close to any reason, I’d remain until the accounting books were closed.

In the private sector, there’s a list of employees that can be exempt (i.e. paid straight salary with no overtime ever) and under what criteria. I was exempt in those to positions because I had primary responsibility for the accounting and the company couldn’t continue without me.