U.S. government workers are posting $0 pay stubs on social media–minus deductions

By Christopher Zara

The U.S. federal government’s payroll systems sure know how to add insult to injury.

As one of the longest government shutdowns in U.S. history heads toward its fourth week, some furloughed federal workers and their advocates are sharing images of pay stubs with $0 net pay on Twitter. And in some cases, it looks as if the government is still tallying up the deductions.

Oscar Murillo, an engineer for NASA, posted an image he said was his pay stub minus $130 in mandatory deductions. Mercifully, the net pay field showed $0 and not an actual negative number.

I reached out to Murillo for comment but received an automatic reply saying he is “in furlough status” and unable to respond to email.

The partial government shutdown, which began on December 22, is said to be affecting some 800,000 workers who are either working without pay or have been furloughed. President Donald Trump warned last week that it could last months or years if Congress doesn’t agree to provide funding for his dream wall along the southern border. However, a majority of Americans don’t support the wall, and polls indicate that more Americans are blaming Trump for the shutdown as it lumbers on—especially in the wake of a fact-challenged televised address earlier this week in which the president made a low-energy attempt to plead his case.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), who posted an image of a $0 stub he said was from an air traffic controller, called out Trump for holding the livelihoods of federal workers “hostage.”

Workers aren’t taking the issue lying down, however. According to CBS, rallies took place on Thursday and are planned for Friday in locations around the country, with union officials and even some members of Congress scheduled to attend.


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