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Doe v. United States

3rd Circuit

June 13, 2022

The Third Circuit waded into an employment issue between FBI agents and the Government. In 2018, the Federal Government went through its most extended shutdown. Federal workers — including FBI agents — did not get paid. When the Government reopened, the agents received back pay and contributions into their Thrift Savings Plan retirement accounts. The rub was that the missing contributions to the Thrift Funds would have risen by 10 percent throughout the shutdown. Thus, Special Agent John Doe and his colleagues sued, seeking the difference. Though the relevant statute waives sovereign immunity to recover benefits, the Third Circuit ruled that this action was not to recover benefits. Therefore, sovereign immunity shielded the Government from the instant suit.

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