A partial shutdown of the federal government, which began at midnight on December 21 and which includes agencies of interest to employers such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the immigration enforcement components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), had entered its third week as of this writing with no obvious end in sight. Among other agencies impacted by the shutdown are the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The shutdown does not impact other agencies of interest to employers, including all of the components of the Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which have been fully funded for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 and continue to operate normally.
Because one consequence of the partial shutdown is unanswered phones and emails by the affected agencies in response to our inquiries, we are unable to address all of the practical impacts the shutdown might have, especially if it continues for a protracted amount of time.
That said, we are able to share information that we do have with respect to key impacted agencies, based largely on contingency plans that every federal agency was required to prepare that spell out how each will address a lapse in funding should that occur. The contingency plans are available here.
Importantly, at least until more information becomes available, you should not assume that any pending deadlines – such as dates for responding to agency information requests – will be automatically extended or waived absent explicit direction from the agency itself.
Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.