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Air traffic controllers working without pay sue over shutdown

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The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) sued the federal government Friday because its members are working without pay during the government shutdown.

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on day 21 of the shutdown.

The suit claims the government is in violation of the Fifth Amendment because it “unlawfully deprived NATCA members of their earned wages without due process,” according to a press release. The association is requesting a hearing on its motion for a temporary restraining order against the government.

{mosads}The group also says the government is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act because it is not paying air traffic controllers at least minimum wage and because the Federal Aviation Administration did not pay them overtime during the shutdown.

“On behalf of its members, NATCA seeks an order requiring the government to pay its members for the work they have performed as well as liquidated damages,” the release said.

The union pointed out that its members would have received direct deposits for their pay in their accounts on Friday morning. Some air traffic controllers shared their pay stubs showing zero dollars with The Washington Post on Thursday.

The lawsuit comes as the shutdown drags on with both sides no closer to an agreement. President Trump and Democrats are deadlocked over his request for $5 billion in funding for a border wall. Trump in recent days has moved closer to declaring a national emergency to allow him to redirect funds for construction of the wall.

The shutdown’s effects have been multiplying with other airport workers and travelers experiencing major setbacks.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees protested outside Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Thursday and the Miami International Airport will close one of its terminals because of TSA employees refusing to work without pay, the Miami Herald reported.

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