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Thousands of Reservists Still Entitled to Compensation

In the major 2003 AFGE legal win of Butterbaugh v. Department of Justice, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals found that federal agencies improperly charged military leave to members of the U.S. National Guard and Reserves prior to December 2000. Consequently, thousands of federal civilian employees were charged military leave on days federal agencies did not require them to work, such as weekends or holidays. This significantly reduced the number of military leave available to our nation’s citizen soldiers, forcing them to use personal Annual Leave or Leave Without Pay in order to fulfill their military obligations.

In order to correct these agency-wide wrongdoings, federal personnel are able to file claims with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) against the violating agency for wrongly calculated military leave as far back as September 20, 1980. Over time, these cases have been referred to as “Butterbaugh” claims. Since it first partnered with AFGE in 2007, Tully Rinckey PLLC and AFGE have served the legal needs of thousands of AFGE members interested in filing a Butterbaugh claim. The firm’s unprecedented experience and dedication to AFGE members comes at no cost to any Reservist or former Reservist filing a claim.

  • If a Butterbaugh claim is successful, you will receive relief in one of two ways:
  • If still employed by the federal agency, you will be compensated by receiving restored Annual Leave.
  • If retired or separated from federal service, you will receive a lump sum payment for the lost leave, paid at the rate they were earning at the time of retirement or separation.

Filing a claim is easy. Go to, click on the “Military Leave Info” link on the right side of the home page, download the Intake Form, fill it out and return it as instructed. You may also contact Tully Rinckey PLLC directly at

Please make sure to notify Tully Rinckey that you are an AFGE member and that you learned of your rights from AFGE. After Tully Rinckey receives your information, an experienced attorney or staff member dedicated solely to handling Butterbaugh cases will contact you to discuss next steps. The full claims process can take months or even years; please reach out to a Tully Rinckey representative today to discuss your options.

While the firm has helped thousands of AFGE members, there are thousands more who may be unaware of their rights. If you or a fellow AFGE member you know may be entitled to compensation due to improperly charged military leave, e-mail Tully Rinckey PLLC today at or call at 202.787.1900.


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