JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- On Monday, when many of the federal employees left their Jacksonville offices, many walked out without a relatively important document: a GSA form SF50, a notification of personnel action.
"It is very essential," said Marie, which is not her real name. "It allows us to apply for unemployment and other benefits indicating that we are not currently employed."
We spoke with several federalemployees who wanted to remainanonymous for fear of retaliation.
"We received furlough letters about midnight September 30. That was electronically sent to us," said one worker.
The problem is it happened after they had left for the day, the close of business. Thenotice is still on their computer, but during a work furlough there is no access to the building, much less the computer.
"When October 1st came and those letters came out, we were not allowed back into the building," saidMarie.
One furloughed workertried to apply for unemployment benefits but could not, not without the letter.
"Without that letter, I can't apply for unemployment, I can't apply for food stamps, I can't apply for some of my bills to be put on hold," she said. "I have nothing indicating I am actually furloughed."
They are not happy with their elected officials' decision to shutdown the government, a move that is apparently impacting hundreds on the First Coast.
"It is going to create a serious hardship because I am only going to be paid for one week and one day, so the unemployment would have helped me pay for some of my bills," she said.
The federal workers described the lawmakers decision as narcissistic.
"I don't think we would have had a furlough if their paycheck was terminated," she said.