Federal Back Pay Act

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The federal Back Pay Act compensates workers for grievances in the workplace.

The Back Pay Act was created to reimburse federal government employees who were not adequately compensated due to an unjustified action committed by the employer. According to Chapter 5 of United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 5596(b), the objective of the federal law is to restore the employee to the same position he would have been in had the wrongful action by the employer not occurred.

  1. Unjustified Action by an Employer

    • The Back Pay provision is applicable when an unjustified or unwarranted action has been committed by the employer's personnel against an employee. When the federal employer fails to abide by a law, regulation or terms of a collective bargaining agreement, it constitutes an unjustified action. The employee is eligible to receive compensation if damages occurred as a result of the employer's conduct or failure to act in compliance with laws and workplace policies.

    Criteria for Awarding Damages

    • Three findings of fact must be proved by the employee or the employee's legal counsel to be awarded damages. It must be shown that the employee was subjected to a wrongful action by the employer's personnel. The personnel's actions resulted in the employee not receiving the wages she earned during the period marked by the grievous action. If the employer didn't behave in such a manner, the employee would have received the monetary compensation owed to her.

    Determination of Monetary Compensation

    • The employee is entitled to the money he would have received if not for the actions of the personnel. The monetary compensation would be reduced by money the employee gained through outside employment during the time when the unwarranted action was in place. The employer may also be responsible for the employee's attorney fees, as stated in Chapter 5 of U.S.C. Section 5596(b).

    Statute of Limitations

    • The Federal Labor Relations Authority handles appeals of the arbitration decisions. According to the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the statute of limitations for a back pay claim against the federal government is two years. The statute of limitations is extended to three years if the employer's unwarranted action is proved to be willful. There must clear factual findings that the federal government employer acted in a way that constitutes willful disregard of the laws and regulations in order for the statute of limitations to be extended to three years.

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