Federal employees back at work, getting paid

Federal employees returned to work Monday with pay, as government agencies work to expedite back pay for hundreds of thousands of workers who were furloughed or worked without pay during the partial government shutdown.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said he hopes all federal workers will receive back pay by the end of the week, depending on the agency.

At Muir Woods in Mill Valley, furloughed park rangers returned to the trails. They spent the day answering questions and giving tours of the towering redwood trees.

“The trails were, I don’t want to say empty, but peaceful and quiet,” T.J. Gerckens, a visitor from Ohio, said. “It was clean. I expected to see a lot of litter. There was no litter.”

Some people said they checked online to make sure the park was open. The National Park Service website said some parks that were affected by the shutdown may not reopen immediately.

“I don’t think there was any kind of disturbance because of the shutdown,” Kush Shrestha, a visitor from New York, said.

The Coast Guard in Alameda said the focus on Monday was to ensure employees receive back pay as quickly as possible this week. 

The same goes for the NTSB, air traffic controllers, and the TSA.

At the Ron Dellums Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Oakland, hundreds of employees returned to work with pay after struggling to make ends meet for a month.

“It’s sad that it had to come to the point where it held people kind hostage in the middle of two sides,” a woman named Ms. Parmer said.

Multiple reports said most employees should receive back pay by this Thursday, Jan. 31.