The Office of Personnel Management ("OPM") provides unclear and incorrect guidance regarding benefits to reservist federal employees that mobilize under 10 U.S. C. § 12301(d), particularly regarding twenty-two days of military leave under 5 U.S.C. § 6323(b) and reservist differential pay under 5 U.S.C. § 5538. Because of this, many reservists are deprived of important benefits to which they are entitled.
This article is the first in-depth analysis of mobilizations under 10 U.S.C. § 12301(d) and the available benefits for federal employees. This article focuses on twenty-two days of military leave under 5 U.S.C. § 6323(b) and reservist differential pay under 5 US.C. § 5538, and also briefly addresses other benefits to which federal employees are entitled. OPM failed to consider recent jurisprudence from the Federal Circuit and administrative adjudicative bodies, leading to incorrect and unclear guidance for federal agencies, and causing agencies to improperly inform federal employees of their benefits.
This topic is important because more than 959,701 reservists have been involuntarily and voluntarily mobilized (including mobilization under 10 U.S.C. § 12301(d)) since 2001. Additionally, as of November 30, 2018, the total reported personnel strength by rank of the Ready Reserve was 798,402. This is a massive number of individuals that may be eligible for benefits of which they are unaware.
Major Jeremy R. Bedford, Armed Forces Mobilization Under 10 U.S.C. §12301(d) and Federal Employees: Why OPM Guidance Is Incorrect, 42 Campbell L. Rev. 1 (2020).