Paul DeCamp, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC office, was quoted in the Bloomberg Law Daily Labor Report, in “U.S. Faces Double Damages Threat for Unpaid Work in Shutdowns,” by Louis C. LaBrecque. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The U.S. government could owe millions in double back wages to federal employees who worked without pay during the longest government shutdown in American history, depending on the outcome of cases that could soon be heard by a federal appeals court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has consolidated nine lawsuits that allege the government willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when it didn’t pay thousands of essential workers on time during a 35-day partial government shutdown that began in December 2018 and stretched into 2019.

Because of the importance of the issues, and the large number of lawsuits in play, the Federal Circuit likely will agree to hear the case, according to Paul DeCamp, the former chief of the U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division. …

Larger 2018-2019 Shutdown Class

Currently, about 73,000 plaintiffs have opted into the lawsuits stemming from the 2018-2019 shutdown. …

DeCamp, who predicted that the Federal Circuit will hear the cases, said there will be “years of litigation” at the trial court level if the appeals court decides not to address the damages issue.

“The fact that the 2013 case is still in court indicates that this could be never ending,” DeCamp said.

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