Governors want guidance on unemployment for federal workers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The governors of Michigan, New York and Washington are asking the Trump administration for guidance on whether states can provide unemployment benefits to federal employees who are working without pay during the shutdown.

Govs. Gretchen Whitmer, Andrew Cuomo and Jay Inslee — all Democrats — issued a joint statement Friday. They say their states are providing unemployment benefits to furloughed federal workers, but federal regulations prevent them from giving the same assistance to those who continue to work without pay.

They are calling on the U.S. Department of Labor to provide “clear, unambiguous guidance” on whether the rules can be waived. They say there is no “rational justification” to deny workers the same short-term relief that furloughed employees can receive.

The shutdown, the longest ever, entered its 28th day Friday.