Nearly 400,000 workers have been off the federal payroll since the government shutdown began at midnight on Dec. 22. While most workers received back pay after previous shutdowns, there’s no guarantee that will be the case this time around. Some contract workers, including janitors, security guards and administrative staff, won’t receive back pay at all. Congress has to pass — and the president has to sign — legislation that specifically authorizes the government to pay federal employees for the time they were on furlough.
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