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Air Traffic Controllers Association Suing Federal Government



As the partial government shutdown continues, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) filed a lawsuit Friday against the federal government.

According to, the union representing air traffic controllers sued on behalf of its members who have not been paid during the shutdown, which has now become the longest in American history.

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The partial government shutdown began on December 22. While some federal employees have been furloughed, air traffic controllers and Transportation Security Administration agents are considered essential employees and must work through shutdown despite a lack of pay.

“The air traffic controllers, traffic management coordinators, and other excepted aviation safety professionals that NATCA represents remain on the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight, but they don’t know when they will receive their next paycheck,” the air traffic controllers union said in a statement. “If not for the shutdown, NATCA members would have begun to receive direct deposit of their pay into their accounts as of this morning.”

As part of the lawsuit, NATCA claims the United States government is violating the Fifth Amendment by depriving members of their earned wages without due process. The union is seeking a temporary restraining order as a result.

In addition, NATCA officials said the federal government had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay at least the minimum wage to air traffic controllers and other NATCA members who were not furloughed during the shutdown.

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