Do all federal workers know how a shutdown would affect them? Whether they would have to go to work?
No. Staffing plans to determine who is or is not considered “essential” have not been formulated yet. The Office Of Management and Budget will only refer people to what happened during the 1995-1996 government shutdown.
What about government-issued electronics such as Blackberrys and laptops?
They’re as good as dead. As soon as a federal worker receives notice of a government shutdown electronic devices have to be turned off. They can’t even be used to read email.
Would federal workers eventually get paid for time they’re ordered to stay off the job?
That’s happened in the past. This time Congress may not approve retroactive pay. Tensions on Capitol Hill are that intense. Unions are telling federal workers to prepare for the possibility they would not get paid.