Debra D’Agostino, Founding Partner of The Federal Practice Group Worldwide Service, was
recently featured on Federal News Radio’s Legal Loop segment discussing
the National Federation of Federal Employees sequestration lawsuits as
they come to an end. The lawsuits, filed in connection to the sequestration
and resulting furlough two years ago, were brought by bargaining unit
employees against two different Department of Defense facilities, an army
depot and an arsenal.
According to D’Agostino, both facilities are considered working capital
entities. This means they receive initial capital through congressional
appropriation, and then become self-supporting. Because the entities make
their own money and are self-funded and self-supported, the lawsuits claimed
that they should not be affected by sequestration, and should instead
be able to use their own money and budget to pay employees in order to
avoid furloughing employees.
Similar issues have been raised by other government offices not funded
by direct appropriations. In many of those cases, results have been reached
not in employees’ favor. As D’Agostino notes, this is because
working capital entities, despite having their own budget, are still beholden
to the Secretary of Defense, who controls the Department of Defense, to
which the working capital entities belong. Furloughs are typically considered
a reasonable management solution to financial restrictions.
You can listen to the entire Federal News Radio segment featuring Attorney
Attorney D’Agostino often provides her extensive insight into
federal employment law to news and media outlets. Backed by more than a decade of experience,
Ms. D’Agostino has fought on behalf of federal employees regarding
a wide range of issues.