Decision May Cost Government $1 Billion
August 29, 2007 – Albany, New York – On August 27, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a major decision which will impact hundreds of thousands of current, former, and retired military reservists who worked for the Federal Government between 1980 and 2000. It is estimated that as many as 300,000 people may be affected and that the average amount of compensation per employee could average over $3,000.
“This is probably the biggest financial win for federal employees in the history of the federal civil service,” said Mathew B. Tully, the attorney who won the case. “The decision is another victory for military reservists who have repeatedly had to go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to overturn wrong decisions by the Merit Systems Protection Board, which has continually rendered unfavorable decisions against our fighting men and women.”
In Hernandez v. Department of the Air Force, Jose Hernandez, a retired civilian aircraft mechanic for the Air Force and a former reservist, filed a Butterbaugh claim for compensation with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) in an attempt to seek credit to his annual, sick and leave without pay accounts. The administrative judge of the MSPB denied Hernandez access to any leave records prior to 1994, as he asserted that the 1994 amendments to USERRA set the cut off date for such claims.
Under representation by Tully, the founding partner of Tully Rinckey, PLLC Hernandez appealed the administrative judge’s decision and the court held that the MSPB has authority to order relief for violations of USERRA prior to its enactment in 1994. Previously, reservists could only receive compensation for improperly charged leave from 1994 to 2000. The decision will now allow for compensation from the years 1980 to 2000, which nearly triples the amount available.
Tully Rinckey, PLLC one of the fastest growing law firms in the Capital Region of New York State, processes military leave claims at no cost to the reservist. The firm is one of few in the country committed to handling military leave claims and has pioneered many recent landmark decisions.