Reps. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) sent a letter Tuesday to OPM Acting Director Margaret Weichert and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney after reports of delayed back pay and other payroll inconsistencies experienced by furloughed and excepted federal employees.
“Although Congress passed legislation to guarantee back pay for federal workers, we have heard reports of many instances of shorted pay and inconsistent tax deductions that left workers unable to make mortgage or rent payments,” the Members wrote. “They also received paychecks that did not reflect adjustments for missed insurance premiums, Thrift Savings Plan loan repayments, and court-ordered deductions, which have resulted in confusion and additional burdens on federal workers.”
The questions the lawmakers want answered are:
1. How many federal workers were furloughed or worked without pay during the shutdown? Of those, how many are still owed backpay?
2. What specific plans are in place to ensure that retroactive pay for furloughed or excepted employees is processed as soon as possible?
3. For instances in which paychecks were issued in amounts less than that owed to federal employees, what steps will be taken to ensure that all remaining amounts owed to workers will be paid in full?
4. What options do federal workers have for retroactively paying wage garnishments which were halted by payroll processors because of the shutdown?
5. What information has been provided by agencies to workers regarding these options?
6. For instances in which there have been inconsistent federal tax deductions between pay periods, what information have agencies provided to workers to help them ensure that the deductions are accurate?
The letter is available here.