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Norton Wants Low-Wage Contractors To Get Back Pay From Government Shutdown

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D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is preparing to introduce legislation to provide back pay to low-wage federal workers who were locked out during the government shutdown.

Federal workers already got back pay for when the government was shutdown. But the government relies heavily on contractors, and Norton's legislation would give low-wage workers in retail, food, custodial and security services their lost earnings.

"People who are often overlooked. In fact people who are most often overlooked. They are the workers we forget at the low end of the totem pole," says Norton.

As for why the bill doesn't encompass all federal contractors impacted by the shutdown, Norton says many highly skilled workers at places like defense firms were already able to recoup some of their lost wages.

"[Those firms] were able to in fact find ways to keep them from taking the same hit. They sometimes arranged training days, they rearranged their days off and their leave days," she explains.

Norton plans to introduce the bill when the House returns next week.

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