San Diego

Furloughed Federal Employee Says He Won't Get Back Pay

The federal government shutdown could hit thousands of civil servants much harder than the rest, especially if they don’t receive any back pay.

“It scares me,” said Clairemont resident Richard Ooms who works for the U.S. Census Bureau.

“I would be working today,” he said. “I would be going out to knock on doors of people who hadn’t returned the questionnaire.”

However, Ooms was furloughed when the government shut down. The 69-year-old also said he won’t receive any back pay because he’s a part-time employee.

“There’s going to be hundreds of thousands of people like me that are going to be in desperate straits,” he said.

Ooms explained he is now weighing what he can and cannot afford. That includes paying his utilities and rent.

“I have a car payment now and I’m thinking that’s definitely going to be the first to go,” he said.

The retired network administrator said his government paycheck makes up half of his income. He said an extended government shutdown will dig into his savings and possibly force him out of his home.

“Either in the street or living with family which I’m trying to avoid,” he said.

He also expressed frustration with President Donald Trump.

“He doesn’t care if this goes on for a year or more,” said Ooms. “Boy, that would be really bad for me," he said.

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