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Staffing firm aims to find temp jobs for furloughed government workers

January 10, 2019

Staffing provider Labor Finders said it’s ready to help furloughed government workers find temporary jobs during the government shutdown.

“We are all hopeful for a timely resolution to the ongoing government shutdown,” said Labor Finders President and CEO Jeffrey Burnett. “And, we are aware that these government employees have immediate responsibilities such as paying bills and putting food on the table. Each of our two hundred offices throughout the country has the ability to assist in obtaining jobs for them immediately.”

Already, some federal workers have taken the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.-based company up on the offer.

“I have had three furloughed workers come to our office so far looking for work,” said Calvin Collins, assistant branch manager in Labor Finders’ Denver office. “I have placed each of them in a position at Wal-Mart stocking shelves. They actually heard about Labor Finders through word of mouth.” 

The shutdown is affecting nearly 800,000 federal workers, some of whom must still work without pay. Traditionally, Congress has passed legislation to pay federal workers; however, contract workers have not been paid in the past.

New York University federal workforce expert Paul Light told NPR that an estimated 4.1 million people work under federal contracts — estimated because, unlike for federal employees, there is no national database tracking the number of contract employees.

“We’ve got a very large federal workforce with a majority of employees who are not on Uncle Sam’s direct payroll,” Light told NPR. “They will not get paid for this unpaid vacation, and I'm not sure how they'll recover if this shutdown continues much longer.”

A group of Democratic senators has introduced legislation to pay contract workers.

“It’s especially unfair for the low-wage contractor employees who provide the critical work to keep federal buildings clean, operate cafeterias, and keep government property secure,” said Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn. “In the past, these workers haven’t received back pay at the end of a government shutdown, and it’s time we right that wrong.”

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