Governor Jay Inslee and Employment Security Department Commissioner Suzi LeVine announced an emergency rule allowing federal workers working without pay to receive unemployment benefits.
In a release to his Medium page, Gov. Inslee said that Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) is expanding unemployment benefits to federal workers who were deemed “essential” and were directed to work full-time without pay since the partial shutdown began.
The employees include Coast Guard personnel, TSA agents, border patrol agents, food safety inspectors, FBI agents, and many others.
In Grays Harbor, there are approximately 21 federal employees impacted by the shutdown. This equated to an estimated $ 26,770 weekly total wages for the county.
In Pacific County, 14 employees are shown working without 17,463 in pay a week.
If spread to quarterly wages, that would be 2052677 in Grays Harbor and 649744 in Pacific.
Since the partial shutdown began, only those federal workers who were furloughed and not working were eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Inslee said this is an inexcusable situation that state leaders should not accept.
Authorities say the workers would be required to pay back state benefits once they receive back pay when the shutdown ends.
Workers can learn how to apply here: https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment-benefits-related-to-partial-federal-shutdown#NEW
The Employment Security Department has posted data about the estimated number of workers impacted by county, including estimates of lost wages by week.
The agency also has data from the National Association of State Workforce Agenciesshowing the estimated number of employees by affected federal agency in Washington.