We are living through the most extended government shutdown in American history. Approximately 800,000 federal employees and 500,000 federal contractors have now gone without a paycheck, and there is no end in sight. Of the unpaid federal employees, more than 420,000 must continue working.
Federal employees are prohibited from undertaking partisan political activity while on duty, in the federal workplace or when invoking official authority. This is due to the Hatch Act, a 1939 law aimed at preventing undue interference in elections by federal employees. Bribery, intimidation and coercion of campaign contributions are prohibited by the Act, for example -- as is the use of federal resources for certain political activities, such as campaigning for a particular candidate or party.
Now that Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in, there is a full slate of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Their new term began Oct. 1, and the court jumped right in to hear oral arguments about an age discrimination case.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam recently signed an Executive Order establishing a task force charged with examining payroll fraud and worker misclassifications, which is when employers classify workers as "independent contractors" when they are really "employees."
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination against workers 40 and over. While the law prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, it is unclear whether the ADEA prohibits a certain type of discrimination called "disparate impact" discrimination in hiring. One federal court ruled that it does not. Now, a second federal court has ruled the opposite.