WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s largest federal employee union says forcing some federal employees to work without pay during a government shutdown violates the U.S. Constitution.

The American Federation of Government Employees has filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to prevent the Obama administration from requiring essential employees to keep working if a shutdown occurs.

The lawsuit says requiring work without pay violates language in the Constitution that prohibits the government from committing to spend money that has not yet been approved by Congress.

It also claims forcing employees to work without pay violates the prohibition on involuntary servitude. It says there’s no guarantee Congress will pay those employees once a shutdown ends.

Congress and the White House face a deadline of midnight Friday to agree on funding to keep the government open.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (6)
  1. G.A.B says:


  2. Doug says:

    Can we export these government workers to another country ??
    What’s that,you say ?

    No country will take them,with their ungrateful attitude .
    I hear you.

  3. Patrick Rose says:

    i am a buisness owner.. whos going to pay me when i dont have work…

  4. A MC says:

    Sounds like they are honoring the demands of all the tea-republicans… taking the Constitution literally. Just like the Founding Fathers intended. ironic, no?

  5. Glen says:

    The last time the Govt. was shut down for a few weeks they sent home all those “poor Govt. employees”. They all went on vacation. Then when they came back, surprise! They were paid for the time off! They simply got two weeks of extra vacation that year. We paid for it. Now they are making sure they get vacation. So this time, since they are suing, let’s not pay them when it is over. They insisted so let’s comply!

  6. Dennis T B says:

    Who’s going to work for nothing??? All workers should go home, turn out the lights, turn off the heat and take the phone off automatic answer; and stop cleaning the toilets and things get done real quick.

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