Former Trump Officials Struggling to Pay Rent After Vacation Payouts are Delayed
Several of Donald Trump’s former political appointees are still waiting to receive lump-sum vacation payouts and the required forms that are necessary for filing for unemployment benefits in a tight job market in a now decidedly Democratic Washington, D.C.
HR complications are pretty typical during government transitional periods but some former political appointees say they were never warned that there could be significant delays. Politico interviewed several former Trump administration appointees who are facing problems that appear to be more intense than those faced by previous transitions.
But it’s not clear at this point if the delays are due to the bumpy Trump-Biden transition or a laggardly federal government where most people are still working from home.
For those who stay until an administration’s very end, there’s usually a gap that lasts from January 20th until they find their next job since it obviously takes time to network, go to job interviews, and receive that final offer. But for many of these former appointees, the situation is complicated in the aftermath of the Jan. 6th riots at the Capitol building, largely because future employers are worried about any potential backlash that could occur.
“I’m sitting here going, how do I pay my rent? How do I pay my cellphone bill?” a former Commerce appointee noted in an interview.
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Another former Commerce official under Trump added: “I have enough money to make it a month, but when the rent’s due next month, what happens then? Rent in D.C. isn’t cheap.”
But the situation isn’t just limited to vacation payouts. At least three former Commerce appointees have yet to receive their separation packets, which include a document that specifically allows them to apply for unemployment benefits, said another former Commerce appointee who only recently received his packet.
In a statement from the Commerce Department, a spokesperson said: “Commerce’s HR Department is available to past appointees and more than happy to help them finish any outstanding paperwork.”
The spokesperson added the department has completed separation procedures for appointees who have finished the necessary paperwork and added it can provide help for those who have questions or haven’t completed all of the steps for leaving the department, something that’s necessary for payouts to be issued.
And it’s not just the Commerce Department that’s struggling with the vacation payout issue. Some Trump-appointed officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are also having problems receiving their payouts in a timely fashion. One such official said she hasn’t received the payout for her annual leave, which adds up to 200 hours and is the equivalent of three months’ pay. Another former DHS official said he hasn’t received his one month’s worth of vacation payout, which totals about $15,000.
“For all pay and benefits inquiries, former DHS employees are encouraged to reach out to their servicing Human Resources office,” said a DHS spokesperson in a statement.
Thanks to Trump’s refusal to acknowledge that President Joe Biden won the election, the transition has been a bumpy one. Despite this, it isn’t really known what’s causing the delay or how widespread the problem is.
Some former Trump appointees have found jobs around Capitol Hill or in the private sector, but many are still looking.
Politico also interviewed two former Commerce appointees from the Obama administration. Both former employees said their vacation payouts weren’t delayed as long and there weren’t huge delays for appointees in regards to their separation packets.
So, for those waiting now, frustration is building and the situation is becoming worrisome.
“A lot of the politicals are not getting jobs, so a lot of them were relying on the lump-sum payments to get them through the next few months.”
That, come to think of it, puts them in the same position as the rest of us, while Republicans have fiddled around and fiddled around with the stimulus checks we’re supposed to receive while their boss, Donald Trump, did absolutely NOTHING to lessen the impact of the pandemic we’re all dealing with.
So these people get the proverbial tiny violin from me. It’s understandable that someone might miss their $15000 a month salary but too many of us are wondering how we’re going to pay mortgages or rent because Trump fiddled while Rome burns.