SACRAMENTO (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom says California will offer unemployment benefits to federal employees working without pay during the government shutdown despite guidance saying it’s not allowed.

Newsom met TSA workers Thursday at the Sacramento airport. He announced last week that Californians employed by the federal government could get benefits.

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Newsom Hugs TSA Employee

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, right, gives TSA employee Miguel Pagarigan a hug of support at the Sacramento International Airport Jan. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

The U.S. Department of Labor told eight western states Wednesday that people working without pay are not eligible for unemployment benefits. The federal agency is pointing to guidelines from a 2013 shutdown.

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Newsom says the federal pushback is “jaw dropping.”

He says people who receive unemployment benefits will be expected to reimburse the state once the government reopens and they get back pay.

The TSA workers told Newsom they are struggling to make ends meet without pay.

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