Paid Military Leave Claims


Federal employees who left their agencies to serve in the United States military, in connection with operations relating to fighting international terrorist groups and the countries that harbor them, are entitled to additional Paid Military Leave.

A recent U.S. Court of Appeals ruling has opened the door for federal employees to file claims with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) to receive additional Paid Military Leave. Those who have since retired from federal service will receive their adjusted Paid Military Leave as a lump sum payment.


On February 9, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that Michael O’Farrell, Jr. was entitled to 22 additional days of Paid Military Leave from the Department of Defense.

O’Farrell, a general attorney for the Defense Logistics Agency within the Department of Defense, was assigned to military duty with the U.S. Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center in 2013, as part of the continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks. O’Farrell used his 15 days of Paid Military Leave, plus most of his Annual Leave and Advance Annual Leave to cover his 162-day tour. To avoid being placed on Military Leave Without Pay, O’Farrell requested 22 additional days of Paid Military Leave, which the Department of Defense rejected. O’Farrell then took his claim to the MSPB, which determined his service did not qualify for additional paid leave because it was not specified as part of a contingency operation in his military orders.

Upon further appeal, the Federal Circuit determined the MSPB didn’t properly assess what constitutes “support” or a “contingency operation” under Section 6323(b) of the United States Code (Military leave; Reserves and National Guardsmen). The Court determined that O’Farrell’s service was in support of a contingency operation, as permitted by federal statute, because he was called to active duty during a national emergency. Therefore, the Court granted him the 22 additional days of Paid Military Leave.

How this applies to you

If you were called to active duty in any capacity after September 11, 2001, to support military operations during the National Emergency with Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks, you may be entitled to additional Paid Military Leave. This ruling applies to thousands of federal employees who serve or have served in any branch of the Armed Forces.

Tully Rinckey PLLC is committed to helping you receive the additional Paid Military Leave you deserve. We are assigning a group of attorneys to specifically process O’Farrell-based claims with the Merit Systems Protection Board, at no up-front cost to you. We will only collect a fee if we are successful in your claim. Just fill out the form here, and one of our attorneys will contact you to go over next steps.

Our commitment to the military

Tully Rinckey PLLC has a deep connection to helping military servicemen and women and veterans receive the benefits they deserve. Our firm was founded by veterans Mathew B. Tully, Esq. and Greg T. Rinckey, Esq. Several of our attorneys have previously served in the Armed Forces. We have represented clients in military law matters, including Article 32s, courts-martial, administrative separations and more. We have assisted military personnel and veterans with protecting their right to work while serving their country through the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Additionally, our law firm helped thousands of federal employees receive additional Paid Military Leave following the Federal Circuit’s ruling in Butterbaugh v. Department of Justice (2003), which determined that the formula federal agencies applied to paying 15 days of military leave annually was incorrect.

Start the claims process today

Filing a successful claim with the Merit Systems Protection Board is not an easy process. There are deadlines you must meet in order for the claim to be heard, and then you may have to wait months – or even years – for a claim to be heard and processed.

This is why having Tully Rinckey PLLC representing you is important. We will make certain your claim is filed properly and on a timely basis, and we will provide aggressive, determined representation at your hearing.

To start the process, click here to fill out our form. Once you submit the form, one of our attorneys assigned to O’Farrell claims will discuss your claim and go over next steps. We will remain committed to your claim through the entirety of the timeline, no matter how long it takes. Best of all, we will do this on a contingency basis with no up-front cost to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How do I submit my case to you for consideration?

A: Please fill out the form and email it to us.  Please make sure to fill the form out in full.  If we are missing information, that can slow down the time it takes for our office to review your case.

Q: Where do I find the form that I need to fill out?

A: You can either fill out the form here, download the PDF and email it to us.

Q:  Do I have to mail in a hard copy?

A: No.

Q:  What is the email address that I can send the form to?

A:  Please email your completed form to

Q:  By sending in the form, does that mean you’ll take my case?

A: Once we receive the form we will review your information to see if your case qualifies under the O’Farrell decision for additional military pay.

Q:  How much money will I get?

A: Each person’s case is different.  It depends on the amount of time you were on military service, whether your military service was in support of a contingency operation, as well as your grade and step in your federal position.

Q:  How much will this cost me?

A: If we are able to take your case, we would be taking on the case on a contingency basis with no up-front cost to you!

Q:  What are the next steps?

A: Please fill out the form in full.  Once we have the requested information we can then review your case and start obtaining the necessary documentation.

Q:  How long will it take for me to hear back from an attorney as to whether or not you are taking my case?

A: Depending on the number of cases filed it may take several months if not years for us to handle every claim.  The sooner we have your information, the sooner one of our attorneys can start reviewing your case.

Q: How long will the process take, when will I see a result from the claim?

A: Once the firm decides to file your appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”) most case are resolved within one hundred and eighty (180) days, if not sooner.

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