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Judge orders court employees to work

on October 17, 2013 10:00 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The chief judge over the U.S. District Court for Western Pennsylvania has ordered government employees to remain on the job even if a partial government shutdown continues and stops their pay.

U.S. District Chief Judge Joy Flowers Conti issued the order Thursday that about 160 members of the judges’ staffs and clerk’s offices are “essential.” That means they’ll have to continue working even if money to pay them runs out by Oct. 18, as projected under the impasse pitting House Republicans against Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama.

The western district courts cover 25 western Pennsylvania counties, with courthouses in Pittsburgh, Johnstown and Erie.

The workers will eventually be paid — even if the partial shutdown lasts beyond Oct. 17 — once the government is funded again.

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