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Feds To Challenge Years of Back Pay Owed: The question is over what time period federal agencies will have to reimburse back pay to their employees who served as reservists and were charged leave erroneously. An initial ruling filed in November 2005 by a Merit Systems Protection Board administrative judge says the time period may extend back to 1989. The full Merit Systems Protection Board ruled in July 2005 that federal employees who were charged leave for weekends when they served as military reservists would be eligible for back pay from 1994. According to Government Executive, the Agriculture Department has decided to appeal the November ruling. The MSPB had not received the appeal notice by the deadline of Jan. 6, but an official told Gov Exec the board is willing to go by the postmark. This could be big bucks for the government.