How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

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da.goat

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How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby da.goat » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:51 am

Are federal clerks still getting paid? How does a govt shutdown affect clerks in general? I'll be clerking in a couple years and never thought about this stuff before. thanks!

Fireworks2016

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Fireworks2016 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:12 pm

We all got paid yesterday -- from funds generated by court fees and other judiciary-specific sources -- and we've been told that the COurt's administrative office calculates that we can make it through one more pay period. After that, it's unclear whether we'll be designated essential employees or whether we'd be furloughed. Seems much more likely that we'll have to keep working without pay, if it comes to that.

Npret

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Npret » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:45 pm

Fireworks2016 wrote:We all got paid yesterday -- from funds generated by court fees and other judiciary-specific sources -- and we've been told that the COurt's administrative office calculates that we can make it through one more pay period. After that, it's unclear whether we'll be designated essential employees or whether we'd be furloughed. Seems much more likely that we'll have to keep working without pay, if it comes to that.

Is the next pay period two weeks? Or are you paid monthly?

lavarman84

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:19 pm

Npret wrote:
Fireworks2016 wrote:We all got paid yesterday -- from funds generated by court fees and other judiciary-specific sources -- and we've been told that the COurt's administrative office calculates that we can make it through one more pay period. After that, it's unclear whether we'll be designated essential employees or whether we'd be furloughed. Seems much more likely that we'll have to keep working without pay, if it comes to that.

Is the next pay period two weeks? Or are you paid monthly?


Two weeks. January 25th is the last paycheck we'd receive.

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:19 pm

Fireworks2016 wrote:We all got paid yesterday -- from funds generated by court fees and other judiciary-specific sources -- and we've been told that the COurt's administrative office calculates that we can make it through one more pay period. After that, it's unclear whether we'll be designated essential employees or whether we'd be furloughed. Seems much more likely that we'll have to keep working without pay, if it comes to that.


9th Circuit here....we have received repeated assurances that we are essential and will be expected to continue working, without pay if the shutdown extends beyond this week. On the plus side we will be allowed to continue traveling with our judges for argument.

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:14 am

EDNY clerks were designated essential and the district has sufficient funding until the 18th. After that ????

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:59 pm

We were informed us that we are constitutionally obligated to administer justice, which is a fun way to tell us we are going to work without pay regardless of how long the shutdown lasts.

flyoverlawclerk47

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby flyoverlawclerk47 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:15 pm

My district judge has confirmed that we will be deemed essential and will continue to work after the January 18th pay period (paid on the 25th) without pay. She also told my co-clerk and me that she would release us from our two-year clerkships if the shutdown continues for an extended period of time.

QContinuum

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:We were informed us that we are constitutionally obligated to administer justice, which is a fun way to tell us we are going to work without pay regardless of how long the shutdown lasts.

I believe Congress has passed legislation - by veto-proof margins - guaranteeing back pay to federal workers who miss paychecks due to the shutdown.

It's true that you'd be in a relatively worse position than the furloughed, "non-essential" workers who will effectively end up getting extra paid vacation, but OTOH you get to honestly claim in future to have had a "full" AIII clerkship, not an abbreviated one.

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nixy

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby nixy » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:52 pm

I personally wouldn’t be worried about whether my clerkship was “full” or “abbreviated,” but about paying my bills while the shutdown continues.

Fireworks2016

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Fireworks2016 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:37 pm

QContinuum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:We were informed us that we are constitutionally obligated to administer justice, which is a fun way to tell us we are going to work without pay regardless of how long the shutdown lasts.

I believe Congress has passed legislation - by veto-proof margins - guaranteeing back pay to federal workers who miss paychecks due to the shutdown.

It's true that you'd be in a relatively worse position than the furloughed, "non-essential" workers who will effectively end up getting extra paid vacation, but OTOH you get to honestly claim in future to have had a "full" AIII clerkship, not an abbreviated one.


I appreciate the attempt at a silver lining, but I don't think anyone, anywhere is going to care whether I worked during the shutdown or if I was furloughed. Anyone who discounts your experience by saying you worked an "abbreviated" clerkship -- because of the stupidest government shutdown in US History -- is an asshole.

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:15 pm

Fireworks2016 wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:We were informed us that we are constitutionally obligated to administer justice, which is a fun way to tell us we are going to work without pay regardless of how long the shutdown lasts.

I believe Congress has passed legislation - by veto-proof margins - guaranteeing back pay to federal workers who miss paychecks due to the shutdown.

It's true that you'd be in a relatively worse position than the furloughed, "non-essential" workers who will effectively end up getting extra paid vacation, but OTOH you get to honestly claim in future to have had a "full" AIII clerkship, not an abbreviated one.


I appreciate the attempt at a silver lining, but I don't think anyone, anywhere is going to care whether I worked during the shutdown or if I was furloughed. Anyone who discounts your experience by saying you worked an "abbreviated" clerkship -- because of the stupidest government shutdown in US History -- is an asshole.

Sure - if the shutdown is resolved within the next week or two, of course that would not be noticeable even if you had been furloughed. If the shutdown were to drag on for months (Heaven forbid, but with DJT you never know), and you didn't actually work during the shutdown, I think it'd be misleading to say you were a clerk for a full term when in fact you had only clerked, e.g., half the time.

nixy

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby nixy » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:33 pm

Except they never said they’d claim to have worked a full term, and if anyone cared that their term was cut short because of the shutdown - especially if the shutdown actually extends for such an unprecedented length of time - they’re not someone you want to work for anyway.

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby OutoftheWoods » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:16 pm

I've actually heard the opposite than the above posters (although perhaps because I'm at the magistrate level, so the Article III considerations are a bit up in the air). There is a Phase One and Phase Two of a government shutdown, where Phase Two I guess is when appropriations run out. Phase Two is unchartered territory, apparently it's never dragged on that long so it's murky. As in, a district court judges order declaring us all essential might not be enough. It's being discussed this week apparently between the judges and the AO level so naturally we're all ears.

Fireworks2016

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Fireworks2016 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:21 pm

OutoftheWoods wrote:I've actually heard the opposite than the above posters (although perhaps because I'm at the magistrate level, so the Article III considerations are a bit up in the air). There is a Phase One and Phase Two of a government shutdown, where Phase Two I guess is when appropriations run out. Phase Two is unchartered territory, apparently it's never dragged on that long so it's murky. As in, a district court judges order declaring us all essential might not be enough. It's being discussed this week apparently between the judges and the AO level so naturally we're all ears.


I have heard rumblings about "Phase Two" of the shutdown as well -- first time its happened since 1995. Ultimately, I think we'll still be declared essential -- especially since furloughed employees will be paid. But it is uncharted territory to be sure.

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:57 pm

nixy wrote:Except they never said they’d claim to have worked a full term, and if anyone cared that their term was cut short because of the shutdown - especially if the shutdown actually extends for such an unprecedented length of time - they’re not someone you want to work for anyway.

Please point to where I accused anyone of proposing unethical behavior. I was merely trying to point out the silver lining of continuing to work vs. going on furlough (not that any clerk actually has a choice anyway - either they must work or they must go on furlough, depending on what the judiciary decides).

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby nixy » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:31 am

QContinuum wrote:
nixy wrote:Except they never said they’d claim to have worked a full term, and if anyone cared that their term was cut short because of the shutdown - especially if the shutdown actually extends for such an unprecedented length of time - they’re not someone you want to work for anyway.

Please point to where I accused anyone of proposing unethical behavior. I was merely trying to point out the silver lining of continuing to work vs. going on furlough (not that any clerk actually has a choice anyway - either they must work or they must go on furlough, depending on what the judiciary decides).

“I think it would be misleading to say that you were a clerk for a full term when you only worked half the term”
suggests someone was actually going to say that. But in any case, I simply disagree that being able to say you were a “full-term” clerk as opposed to a “short-term” clerk is any kind of silver lining.

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:32 am

Eastern District of Michigan. Like above, we got paid on Friday and were told we would be paid on the 25th, but that would be it. Feb 8 would be the first missed paycheck. The last announcement we received designated all clerks as essential staff, so we would be expected to continue working even when we aren't getting paid. As noted above, we would receive back pay eventually. We would also likely be able to work from home for a lot of it (which would save the courts some money as well).

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:10 pm

DC Superior clerks didn't get paid this week.

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HillandHollow

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby HillandHollow » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:DC Superior clerks didn't get paid this week.


DC Superior is a "state" type court, but Congress retains oversight of their budget, right?

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:31 pm

For those working for judges who are still hiring for 2019-2020 and beyond, is hiring and application review delayed as non essential?

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:35 pm

HillandHollow wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:DC Superior clerks didn't get paid this week.


DC Superior is a "state" type court, but Congress retains oversight of their budget, right?


Right. We’re working without pay until the shutdown ends.

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For those working for judges who are still hiring for 2019-2020 and beyond, is hiring and application review delayed as non essential?


My guess is this will vary chambers to chambers. The AO’s order limits our work to “essential functions.” We interpreted that to include all of our normal duties except for clerk hiring. So we’re not going to look at OSCAR until after the government is opening again.

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:12 am

nixy wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
nixy wrote:Except they never said they’d claim to have worked a full term, and if anyone cared that their term was cut short because of the shutdown - especially if the shutdown actually extends for such an unprecedented length of time - they’re not someone you want to work for anyway.

Please point to where I accused anyone of proposing unethical behavior. I was merely trying to point out the silver lining of continuing to work vs. going on furlough (not that any clerk actually has a choice anyway - either they must work or they must go on furlough, depending on what the judiciary decides).

“I think it would be misleading to say that you were a clerk for a full term when you only worked half the term”
suggests someone was actually going to say that. But in any case, I simply disagree that being able to say you were a “full-term” clerk as opposed to a “short-term” clerk is any kind of silver lining.

Yes, thanks for taking my quote out of context. My full sentence was this: "If the shutdown were to drag on for months (Heaven forbid, but with DJT you never know), and you didn't actually work during the shutdown, I think it'd be misleading to say you were a clerk for a full term when in fact you had only clerked, e.g., half the time." The full sentence makes clear that I was speaking hypothetically. Obviously, the shutdown hasn't dragged on for months (at least not yet), and also clerks are working (at least for now).

If your assertion is that in that hypothetical situation described above, one should claim to have "worked" during multiple months when they didn't actually do any work, I strongly disagree. At a minimum, in that hypothetical situation, there should be a notation reflecting the months spent on furlough, e.g., Clerkship Sept. 2018 - Aug. 2019 (furloughed due to government shutdown Jan. - May 2019).

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Re: How is the government shutdown affecting clerks?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For those working for judges who are still hiring for 2019-2020 and beyond, is hiring and application review delayed as non essential?


My guess is this will vary chambers to chambers. The AO’s order limits our work to “essential functions.” We interpreted that to include all of our normal duties except for clerk hiring. So we’re not going to look at OSCAR until after the government is opening again.


I agree that this will vary chambers to chambers and note that my judge is going ahead with scheduling interviews. So if anyone is delaying applying to a clerkship because of the shutdown, that may not be a good idea.

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