It’s been a cold winter in Washington for former Trump administration employees.
In a new report from Politico, many Trump appointees say they can’t find new jobs, haven’t been paid for their remaining vacation time, and can’t even apply for unemployment because no one has sent them the required paperwork.
“A lot of people are freaking out,” one appointee told Politico, which did not report any of the sources’ names.
Many of the defunct administration’s workers were relying on vacation payouts and unemployment to get through the next weeks or months, because jobs are scarce for Trump alumni in the newly Democrat-dominated capital.
“I’m sitting here going, how do I pay my rent? How do I pay my cell phone bill?” one former employee of the Department of Commerce said.
Job hunting was tough for Trump appointees even before the administration ended on January 20. After Trump lost the presidential election in November, many White House employees began quietly looking for other jobs, but got an icy reception.
“They really have a scarlet letter, particularly the most visible ones,” Hilary Rosen, vice chair of the political consulting firm SKDK, told Insider of the administration’s former officials. “It’s not worth it to companies to bring on people with a bad reputation to represent the company in any way if it’s going to create employee revolt.”
But since the January 6 riot on the US Capitol, which led to the former president’s unprecedented second impeachment, the job market has gotten even worse for anyone with the name “Trump” on their resume.
In the meantime, many former aides and officials were hoping to at least receive unemployment, but even that has become a problem. At least three former Commerce employees toldPolitico they had yet to receive an SF-50 forms, which are needed to apply for unemployment benefits.
“I have enough money to make it a month, but when rent’s due next month, what happens then? Rent in DC isn’t cheap,” one Commerce employee said.
The vacation payouts owed to some of the appointees are also significant. One ex-official at the Department of Homeland Security said he was owed $15,000, while another said the money owed to her amounted to three months of her former salary.
Former employees of the Barack Obama administration toldPolitico they did not have the same experience when that presidency ended.
“I don’t remember it being a problem,” a former Obama Commerce official said. “I don’t remember us having any issues.”