The lights are still on but the overwhelming majority of desks are empty at the national and regional offices of the Department of Labor (DOL) and its subagencies, as well as the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These offices will continue to receive and docket filings to preserve statutory deadlines but otherwise will tend to only the most extraordinary cases “involving the safety of human life or protection of property.” All other activities, including investigating complaints and public outreach, are suspended. Below is an example of the employee furlough numbers and their dramatic impact on government operations.

  • 2,954 of the DOL’s 16,304 employees will remain on the job
  • 11 of the NLRB’s 1,611 employee will remain active, including the NLRB Members themselves
  • 107 of the 2,164 EEOC personnel will remain on the job
  • 1 of the Office of Labor Management Standards’ 216 employees will remain working during the shutdown
  • 230 of the 2,235 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) employees will remain active
  • 6 of the 1,829 Wage and Hour Division (WHD) employees will continue working
  • 46 of the 986 members of the Employee Benefits Security Administration will stay on the job during the shutdown
  • None of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs employees will remain

During the shutdown, employers will enjoy a short-lived reprieve from government investigations and inspections. But expect this administration’s steady pressure on employers to continue when the agencies return in full force.