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Furlough puts government contractor in financial tough spot

The U.S. House is scheduled to vote Saturday on a bill that would give furloughed federal employees back pay when they do return to work, and the White House has already agreed to sign the measure if it’s passed.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of people who won’t be helped by the effort.

Jim lives in east King County and works for a company that services military commissaries. He says his company has more than a hundred employees locally who have just been told they’ll have to stay home until further notice. Once they do go back, he doesn’t expect to get paid for the time off.

“I don’t know if the commissary folks will get retro or not, but we won’t get any extra cash at the end of it,” says Jim.

The shutdown is having a ripple effect that started in Congress and has worked its way across the country.

“If you go even further out, the folks that are trucking the product to the stores, the guys that are loading the trucks, there are all kinds of folks behind the scenes that are getting furloughed as well,” says Jim. “So, it’s big ripples.”

What’s worse, Jim and his family are just a month away from moving into a brand new house that’s just been built. Already a tough spot to be in financially, it’s being made even more precarious by the furlough.

“This was obviously not good timing,” says Jim. “Fortunately, I’m in a situation, financially, where we have two incomes coming into the house and we’ll be OK. But, I know there are a lot of folks that work for me that are not in the same situation. They’re not trying to move into a new house, they’re just trying to buy food for their kids. They’re the ones that I’m super concerned about.”

Jim says he doesn’t think the furlough will affect his family being able to move into their new home, if it ends in the next few weeks.

About the Author

Kim Shepard

Kim Shepard is a news anchor and reporter for KIRO Radio and the office optimist. She's energetic, quick to laugh and has a positive outlook on life.

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