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Government Agency Functions Affected by Furlough

While a government contractor’s work may continue through the government shutdown, the closure of federal agencies is likely to cause delays.

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While a government contractor’s work may continue through the government shutdown, the closure of federal agencies is likely to cause delays. Any contractors that intend to hire new staff, manage have pending business loans, or employment law claims, investigations, or hearings will be impacted. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces workplace discrimination laws. Expect backlogs and delays in filing new charges or reports, investigations, hearings, mediations, etc.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) protects employee rights. Unilateral implementation of layoffs or reductions in wages, forced shutdowns and vacations could constitute unfair labor practices and lead to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proceedings. Expect hearings to be delayed. In the past, filings were automatically issued extensions in response to a government shutdown.

Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) enforces minimum wage, overtime and child labor protections. Expect investigations and compliance actions to be delayed, but don’t expect automatic extensions.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a subdivision of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and generally remains open. However, without supporting agencies new applications for residence, green cards, seasonal work, and visas will likely see delays or processing stoppages. Expect the e-verify system to be unavailable and look for guidance regarding an alternate Form 1-9 document review process.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ensures healthy working conditions. While the requirements will remain in effect, expect inspections to be suspended in all but the most imminent danger scenarios. State level OSHA operations supported by federal funding will also be impacted.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is part of the Department of Labor, and is likely to pause all currently scheduled audits. Expect delays for new audits.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and air traffic controllers will be impacted. Expect travel delays.

Small Business Administration (SBA) helps people found and grow small businesses. Expect loan processing to stop, but payments will still be due.

While not exhaustive, this list of agencies and the impact a furlough is likely bring about should help contractors prepare in advance to weather the shutdown.



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