Air traffic controller union sues U.S. federal government over non-payment of wages

WASHINGTON, D.C., - With a scheduled payday for federal workers arriving and a government with no authority to pay its workers, non-Department of Defense employees saw zeros on their pay stubs today. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) filed suit in U.S. District Court alleging myriad violations stemming from non-payment of wages brought on by the partial government shutdown. The air traffic controllers represented by the NATCA are employed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Jan 11th, 2019
Air traffic controller union sues U.S. federal government over non payment of wages
Air traffic controller union sues U.S. federal government over non payment of wages
WASHINGTON, D.C., - With a scheduled payday for federal workers arriving and a government with no authority to pay its workers, non-Department of Defense employees saw zeros on their pay stubs today. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) filed suit in U.S. District Court alleging myriad violations stemming from non-payment of wages brought on by the partial government shutdown. The air traffic controllers represented by the NATCA are employed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Related: Government shutdown delays FAA training programs for air traffic controllers

The NATCA, who requested an expedited hearing to receive a temporary restraining order against the U.S. government, alleges Washington is in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the constitution by unlawfully depriving them of their wages without due process. In addition, the union's lawsuit claims that the federal government is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) because air traffic controllers, who have been deemed "essential" workers, have been on the job since the shutdown began three weeks ago but have not been getting paid at least the minimum wage for their work. In addition, the suit alleges that earned overtime pay was not dispersed as well.

"The FLSA guarantees on-time payment of overtime wages earned for all covered employees...on the employee's regularly scheduled payday," wrote attorneys for the union in its suit. "Defendant has violated and continues to violate the provisions of the FLSA alleged herein in an intentional, willful, and bad faith manner."

To read the redacted suit, please click here.

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