Federal Agencies Plan for Government Shutdown

Federal agencies have posted their contingency plans on the Office of Management and Budget’s website in case the government shuts down at midnight tonight. The plans allow the agencies to perform a limited amount of activities during a lapse in appropriations.

In a government shutdown, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) plan says that they will only pursue activities that involve the safety of human life or the protection of property. The EEOC will continue to docket new charges, litigate pending lawsuits in which courts do not grant continuances, examine new charges to determine if action is required to protect life or property, and maintain the viability of its information systems. The EEOC will not answer public questions or respond to public correspondence, investigate charges, litigate pending lawsuits in which courts have granted continuances, hold mediations and federal sector hearings, conduct outreach, and process Freedom of Information Act requests. The EEOC’s plan covers all officers, employees, and on-site contract personnel. Only 107 of the agency’s 2,164 employees will continue working.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has updated its continuation plan. The DOL will suspend most operations and furlough 80 percent of its staff. Ten DOL agencies will suspend operations altogether, while the remaining agencies will curtail functions except those that respond to workplace deaths and injuries. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration will retain limited staff to respond to “imminent danger” situations. The Wage and Hour Division will continue to investigate incidents of serious injury or death of minors, transportation accidents, and housing safety violations. The DOL will continue to manage unemployment and workers’ compensation claims and pay benefits.