A hearing is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 15, on a lawsuit filed by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, AFL-CIO (NATCA) on behalf of its members who have not been paid for their work since the government shutdown in late December.
Considered essential personnel, air traffic controllers have been on the job since the partial government shutdown on Dec. 22.
The union filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, requesting an expedited hearing on its motion for a Temporary Restraining Order against the United States government for its violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. NATCA alleges that the government unlawfully deprived NATCA members of their earned wages without due process.
The suit also alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for failure to pay at least the minimum wage to air traffic controllers and other NATCA members who are excepted from the furloughs during the government shutdown.
Finally, it alleges that the FAA failed to promptly pay overtime to NATCA members in violation of the FLSA.
The union is seeking a court order requiring the government to pay its members for the work they have performed, as well as liquidated damages.
“The air traffic controllers, traffic management coordinators, and other excepted aviation safety professionals that NATCA represents remain on the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight, but they don’t know when they will receive their next paycheck,” union officials said in a prepared release.
The hearing was initially scheduled for Jan. 14, but had to be postponed due to a winter storm hitting Washington, D.C.