An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 current and former reservists employed as federal government civilians may be able to recoup money for leave days that were improperly charged to them dating back to 1980.
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 28 that Jose Hernandez, a retired Air Force civilian aircraft mechanic, was entitled to be considered for reimbursement for leave that was charged to him from 1980 to 2001, and sent his case back to the federal Merit Systems Protection Board for reconsideration “This is the largest victory for federal employees in the history of the federal civil service system,” said Hernandez’s attorney, Mathew Tully, who practices in Albany, N.Y. Tully, who has represented reservists in thousands of similar cases, said he estimates from 100,000 to 300,000 people could be eligible to receive refunds ranging from $1,500 to $3,000.
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, in its decision Tuesday, ruled that the federal Merit Systems Protection Board does have the authority to consider cases that pre-date USERRA, and that the department’s practice of charging military leave also violated the law before USERRA.
Tully said the reimbursements could eventually apply to leave improperly charged before 1980. “We’re litigating a case now that’s from 1972 to 1992. We’re going to push the envelope,” he said. Full story: Federal Times
According to Tully, current federal employees will be compensated with either military or annual leave, with cash payments only in very rare circumstances. Generally, only retired or former federal employees will be compensated with cash, he said.