Furloughed IRS workers refuse to work without pay, despite the order

Internal Revenue Service employees requested to work without pay aren’t willing to serve the state in these conditions, and they are raising their voices against this government measure to deliver tax refunds on time.

On January 16, amid the longest government shutdown in US history, the Trump administration ordered 46.000 federal employees out of 800.000 on furlough due to lack of funds to cover their salaries, to work without pay until the impasse is solved.

The employees in question consider this to infringe their constitutional right, and their union representatives introduced a lawsuit denouncing a disrespect of their constitutional rights. Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa

The administration’s efforts hope to avoid a delay in tax refunds and benefits that would affect the public, but the employees have had enough of this situation and have been just skipping work.

“I hope this makes Trump and the government realize we need our jobs.”

THE HARDSHIP PROVISION

Some of the employees that are refusing to return to their offices if they aren’t paid are recurring to a provision in the union contract that authorized them to be absent from their jobs in the event of suffering “hardship” due to a shutdown.

“I would say a majority of employees are calling out under hardship. I’m getting reports whole teams are requesting out. One person told me, ‘I’m the only one on my team here.’ ”

-Union leader Gary Karibian, The Washington Post, January 22, 2019.

NEXT TAX-FILING SEASON

On January 24, the longest government shutdown in US history reached its 33rd day. Not having received payment for a month now, the crisis is taking a toll on the lower income workers who are struggling to survive on their savings.

The next tax-filing season is supposed to begin on Monday, January 27, but Trump’s attempts to force IRS to work without pay in order to minimize the impact of his battle for fund to his border wall might be unsuccessful because of the employees' refusal to get the worst of the fight between Trump and Congress.

MISSING ANOTHER PAYCHECK

Some of the IRS lower paid workers make as little as $12 an hour and unless the government reopens before that (it doesn’t seem likely) they are going to miss a second paycheck.

"At this point, I mean, I'm hoping there's enough employees to do the job. Our employees don't have the money to go to work. Period," IRS customer service representative Shannon Ellis said.

PROTEST

While some workers are calling sick or seeking refuge in the hardship resolution, others have staged protests to complain about the frustrating situation and pressuring for returning to their jobs with proper pay.

12 of the federal workers who took part in a sit-in outside senator’s offices at Capitol Hill were arrested on January 23 and charged with a misdemeanor, in an escalade of the frustration of thousands of public servers.

“Some days I cry because there is no help for us. I hope this makes Trump and the government realize we need our jobs,” contractor Helene Lonang said.

The shortage of employees working for the next tax-filing season due to the government shutdown might cause a delay in tax returns and benefits for the general population. | Photo: Getty Images

The shortage of employees working for the next tax-filing season due to the government shutdown might cause a delay in tax returns and benefits for the general population. | Photo: Getty Images

THE SHUTDOWN

The government shutdown is the result of the Democrats' refusal to approve Trump’s demand for more than $5 billion to start building his proposed wall at the southern border.

With none of the parts backing down, the Congress entered into a stalemate that has increasingly left federal agencies lacking funds, affecting the functioning of the government and the jobs of thousands of federal employees.

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