According to Politico, a number of former Trump political appointees are struggling financially after not receiving the lump-sum vacation payouts they were promised.
They also have yet to receive the “required forms that are necessary to file for unemployment benefits as they face a tough job market in a Democratic Washington,” the news outlet reported.
While HR headaches are to be expected during a government transition, some former political appointees say they were not warned there would be significant delays. And the problems faced by the seven former appointees POLITICO interviewed appear more acute than during past recent transitions.
It’s not clear, however, whether the delays are related to the rocky Trump-Biden transition or a slow federal government bureaucracy that is still working mostly from home.
Political appointees who stay to the very end of an administration often face a gap between Jan. 20 and when they land their next job, given the time it takes to network, get job interviews and then get a formal offer. Trump appointees face the added problem of job hunting in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riot, which made some companies reluctant to hire former Trump appointees, in part because of fear of a backlash.
One former Commerce appointee told Politico: “I’m sitting here going, how do I pay my rent? How do I pay my cellphone bill?”
Another said: “I have enough money to make it a month, but when rent’s due next month, what happens then? Rent in D.C. isn’t cheap.”
A former Homeland Security official said she hadn’t received payout of her annual leave, which is more than 200 hours and equivalent to three months of pay. Another former senior DHS official said he also hadn’t gotten his one month of vacation payout, which comes out to about $15,000 minus taxes.
It’s not known how widespread the payment delays are or the exact cause, but there have been other personnel hiccups during the transition, which was especially rocky because of former President Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge President Joe Biden’s win. POLITICO previously reported that a number of Trump appointees unexpectedly lost their parental leave benefits when Biden was sworn into office.
Image credit: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour / Public Domain