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AFGE Partners With Law Firm on Butterbaugh Claims

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has partnered with a New York law firm to collect compensation for thousands of government-employed military reservists who were improperly charged for taking military leave. Tully, Rinckey & Associates, of Albany, N.Y., will co-represent approximately 10,000 union members who have so-called Butterbaugh claims pending against the government, the law firm said Oct. 29. In a 2003 decision, Butterbaugh v. Department of Justice, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that agencies were not permitted to charge military leave accounts for days on which employees would not otherwise have been required to work. Agencies had previously been charging employees military leave for weekends and holidays. Since the decision, there have been more than 4,000 Butterbaugh claims filed by AFGE members, and the law firm—which already has processed more than 5,000 claims on its own—expects to double that number and collect up to $300 million in compensation and legal fees over the next four years. Average compensation per employee is about $3,000, the law firm said. “When this news first came out, people thought it was too good to be true—we had a lot of old-time skeptics,” Mathew B. Tully, the firm’s founder and current partner, told But now that the firm has processed so many cases, Tully said that the skepticism has lifted. To see more, go to:


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