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December 16, 2017
 


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Information is the Currency of Democracy

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFL-CIO Logo

APWU

About The APWU

  UnionActive Newswire  
 
Join the Newswire!
Updated: Dec. 16 (06:03)

Recognize the Union, You Disrespectful Monsters
Teamsters Local 888
United PSAV Tech
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
The Republican Tax BillCould Affect Railroad Retirement
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen
National Labor Relation Board Favors Management Over The Working Man
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen
TEST
FOP Tulsa Lodge 93
JCBA Update 12.15.17
TWU Local 568
 
     
 

Moe Biller


 

"The

Struggle

Continues"

Sign the petition TODAY!

 

AFL-CIO Employee Free Choice Act

 

Join CLUW

 

 

Iowa Federation of Labor
Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO Logo

 

Labor Notes

Cover Image

 

APWU Officers Oath of Office

I, having been duly elected to the office in the ____ of the APWU, AFL-CIO do solemnly pledge to uphold the Constitution and Bylaws of the APWU AFL-CIO, and the (state'Local). I further pledge to perform the duties of my office to the best of my ability. I promise that at the conclusion of my term in office, I will turn over to my successor all books, papers, records and documents that are the property of the APWU. Last, but not least, I promise to purchase only union made aticles whenever available. Failure to perform any of the above will mark me as an indivisual devoid of honor and destitute of integrety.
GIVE TO COPA!

GIVE TO COPA TODAY!

Your Job and the future of the USPS and the Labor Movement depend on you contributions!

Give to the APWU Committee on Political Action.

 

Newspapers from Everywhere
Click here to a copy of anewspaper from just about anywhere in the world!

 

Union Safe

Benefits from Union Plus

for Union Families facing hardships.

Union SAFE - Security. Assistance. Financial Education. Unique Benefits for Union Members at Risk

National Federation Post Office MVE
National Association Post Office & General Services Maintenance Employees
National Postal Union
National Association Special Delivery Messengers
United Federation of Postal Clerks
APWU Shield
Your Rights

EEO
Apr 22, 2011

 

Before you file an EEO Complaint, you might want to read this three part article.

Part 1.   Part 2.  Part 3.

EEO Casuals 1984

EEO Compliance

 EEO Damages Federal Reporter

EEOC Defined

EEO Procedures 1992

EEOC Proposed Broader Def. of Disability

EEO Settlements must Comply with CBA

EEOC representation and official time

EEO Settlement

Exhausting Admin prior to Court

Postal EEO

 Reasonable Accomodations and undue hardship

Redress 2000

 

 

www.eeoc.gov/facts/diabetes.htmlEEOC and Diabetes


Excessing/Lay Offs
Mar 27, 2009

The APWU has a booklet on your rights when you are excessed.

Check it out here!

 

More Info from APWU on Excessing

Excessing Assignment Letter - Light and Limited Duty

Excessing Retreat Rights

 

USPS Financial Difficulties
And the Possibility of Layoffs

Burrus Update #12-08, Oct. 3, 2008

There has been significant interest in my Sept. 30 Update for union members, which discussed the Postal Service’s bleak financial situation and the presidential election: Interest has been especially high about the reference to the possibility of layoffs – for the first time in postal history.

Let me be clear: The possibility that the Postal Service may exercise its authority to layoff career employees is real, but it would affect very few APWU-represented employees. The 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement guarantees that each employee who is employed in the regular work force as of Nov. 20, 2006, “shall be protected henceforth against any involuntary layoff or force reduction during the term of this Agreement.

The agreement also provides that “upon completion of six years of continuous service in their regular workforce” APWU-represented employees are protected against any involuntary layoff or force reduction “during any period of employment in the regular work force with the United States Postal Service or successor organization in his or her lifetime.” To receive credit for the year, an employee must have worked at least one hour (or received a call-in guarantee in lieu of work) in at least 20 of the 26 pay periods during that anniversary year.

APWU-represented employees who meet the criteria listed above are protected for the life of the 2006-2010 National Agreement or for their lifetime, and are not threatened by layoffs resulting from the significant decline in mail volume or the USPS financial difficulties.

If the Postal Service’s offer of early retirement fails to reduce the workforce commensurate with USPS budgetary problems, the Postal Service will have a continuing need to reduce the number of employees. I expect that non-protected employees will be exposed to the possibility of layoff.

During a meeting between Postmaster General John E. Potter and the union presidents last month, he reported that 16,000 postal employees lack protection against layoffs. Members of the Mail Handlers Union and the APWU have the protections described above.

The threat of layoffs is just one of the factors mentioned in my previous Update, which informed union members that the November elections have great significance for postal employees and are much more personal than abortion, guns, gay marriage and terrorism. This time it is about your job.

William Burrus
President

 

 

2006, and who has not acquired the2010, and may not be

protection provided under Article 6 shall be protected

henceforth against any involuntary layoff or force reduction

during the term of this Agreement. It is the intent of this

Memorandum of Understanding to provide job security to

each such employee during the term of this Agreement;

however, in the event Congress repeals or significantly

relaxes the Private Express Statutes this Memorandum shall

expire upon the enactment of such legislation. In addition,

nothing in this Memorandum of Understanding shall

diminish the rights of any bargaining-unit employees under

Article 6.

Since this Memorandum of Understanding is being entered

into on a nonprecedential basis, it shall terminate for all

purposes at midnight, November 20,

cited or used in any subsequent dispute resolution

proceedings.

* * *

 

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

BETWEEN THE

UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE

AND THE

AMERICAN POSTAL WORKERS UNION, AFL-CIO

Re: Layoff Protection

 

Each employee who is employed in the regular work force as

of November 20,


FMLA
Jun 09, 2009

Department of Labor FMLA Section 825 Revised 2009

DOL Fact Sheet Final Rule

DOL Page on FMLA

Final Rule 2008 Changes

 FMLA Basics

FMLA Employee Service Talk 2009

FMLA Guide University of Iowa Labor Center 2009

FMLA Rules and Laws

How to Apply you FMLA Rights (APWU Book)

Human Resources letter FMLA 2009

Leave and Documentation

Top 10 FMLA Violations

WH 1420 FMLA 2009 Poster

FMLA Forms, Samples, and stewards info 

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Forms

These forms provide supporting documentation for leave requests covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The Postal Service has stated that these forms are acceptable for use by managers to approve or disapprove FMLA leave requests.

 

Click on the light blue link below for forms

APWU Form 1 -  Employee Certification of Own Serious Illness

APWU Form 2 - Certified by Employee's Health Care Provider for Employee's Serious Illness.

APWU Form 3 - Health Care Provider Certification of Employee's Family Member Illness.

APWU Form 4. Notice of Need for Intermittent Leave or for a Reduced Work Schedule.

APWU Form 5. Desire or Need Absences for Birth or Placement of Son or Daughter.

www.apwu.org/dept/ind-rel/fmla/fmlaforms.htm

 Comments AFL-CIO

Comments APWU

 

 

WorkCite: Employment & Benefits Legal Update

11/26/2008

Final Revised FMLA Regulations Issued: Highlights of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Just in time for the holiday gift giving season, on November 17, 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published its final revised regulations, overhauling the implementation of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). Certain provisions in the new regulations are clear nods to court and employer concerns regarding inconsistencies, vagueness and other practical problems with the old regulations. The DOL also designed the new regulations to:

  • Expand avenues for communication between employees, employers and healthcare providers;
  • Provide clarity to workers and employers about their mutual responsibilities and rights under the FMLA; and
  • Address the two new FMLA leave entitlements created by the military family leave provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Weighing in at a hefty 762 pages in length, the new regulations plus preamble will require careful study by employers who will need to make a number of updates to their current policies and practices in 2009. Highlights of some of the key changes are set forth below.

Effective Date

The new regulations take effect on January 16, 2009, which is sixty (60) days from the date they were published. This will require employers to move quickly in order to revise policies, train managers and otherwise implement the new requirements. On the bright side, in light of the current financial climate, the new regulations could easily have been titled the "2008 Full Employment for Human Resources Administrators and Antacid Manufacturers Economic Stimulus Act."

Coverage

  • Eligible Employees. As before, an eligible employee is an employee of a covered employer who: (1) has been employed by the employer for at least twelve months, (2) has been employed for at least 1,250 hours of service during the twelve-month period immediately preceding the start of leave, and (3) is employed at a work site that has fifty or more employees within a seventy-five mile radius. Under the new regulations, if an employee has a break in service that lasts seven years or less, the employee's service prior to the break must be counted when determining if the employee has been employed for at least twelve months. Moreover, employment periods preceding a break in service of more than seven years must also be counted when the break is caused by the fulfillment of National Guard or Reserve military service obligations or "a written agreement, including a collective bargaining agreement, exists concerning the employer's intention to re-hire the employee after the break."
  • Serious Health Condition. Although the six individual definitions of a "serious health condition" remain with no significant revisions, additional guidance is provided as to three. With respect to conditions involving more than three consecutive, full calendar days of incapacity plus two or more treatment visits to a healthcare provider, the new regulations provide that the two visits must occur in-person within 30 days of the first day of incapacity (unless extenuating circumstances exist), and the first in-person visit must take place within 7 days of incapacity. With respect to serious health conditions involving three consecutive, full calendar days of incapacity plus a regimen of continuing treatment, the new regulations likewise require that the first visit to the healthcare provider take place in-person within 7 days of the first day of incapacity. In addition, serious health conditions involving "chronic conditions" must require at least two visits for treatment by a healthcare provider per year.

Leave Entitlement

  • Minimum Leave Increment. Unfortunately, the new regulations do not provide any significant relief to employers struggling to address practical intermittent or reduced schedule FMLA leave problems. However, the new regulations make a slight change to the language involving the counting of intermittent or reduced schedule leave, such that an employer must account for leave "using an increment no greater than the shortest period of time that the employer uses to account for use of other forms of leave," provided it is not greater than one hour. By deleting the modifier "shortest period of time that the employer's payroll system uses," this allows employers to calculate intermittent and reduced schedule leave on the same basis as that calculated for other employee absences (i.e., regardless of lesser potential increments that a payroll system might be able to count).
  • Minimal Leave Increment Exception. Where it is "physically impossible" for an employee on intermittent or reduced schedule leave to start or end work mid-way through a shift, the entire shift may be designated and counted as FMLA leave. This exception, however, appears to be narrow, with the DOL citing examples "such as where a flight attendant or a railroad conductor is scheduled to work aboard an airplane or train, or a laboratory employee is unable to enter or leave a sealed clean room."
  • Compliance With Employer Policy. Under the new regulations, an employer may require an employee to comply with the employer's "usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave, absent unusual circumstances" (e.g., leave requests directed to a particular individual).
  • Concurrent Use of Paid Leave. Prior to amendment, the current FMLA regulations applied different rules to the concurrent use of paid vacation and personal leave versus sick leave. However, according to the DOL, under the new regulations, "all forms of paid leave offered by an employer will be treated the same, regardless of the type of leave substituted (including generic paid time off)."
  • Light Duty Work. One of the more significant changes in the new regulations involves the treatment of employees placed on light duty work. As before, if a healthcare provider treating an employee for a workers' compensation injury certifies that the employee is able to return to light duty work but is unable to return to the same or an equivalent position that the employee left, the employee may decline the employer's light duty offer and continue on FMLA leave until his or her leave entitlement is exhausted. However, consistent with the DOL's prior Wage and Hour Opinion Letter FMLA-55 (Mar. 10, 1995), under the new regulations, if an employee accepts such light duty work, the time spent performing such duties does not count against an employee's FMLA leave entitlement. Further, according to the DOL, an employee's right to job restoration to his or her original position is "effectively held in abeyance" during the period of time that the employee works in the light duty role. However, the right to job restoration in such circumstances "ceases at the end of the applicable twelve-month FMLA leave year" used by the employer to calculate leave. In short, according to the DOL, "if an employee is voluntarily performing a light duty assignment, the employee is not on FMLA leave" but may have FMLA job restoration protection (in some cases well beyond the normal twelve-week period from the employee's original FMLA leave date).
  • Overtime. In response to employer concerns, if an employee would normally be required to work overtime but is unable to do so because of FMLA-qualifying reasons, "the hours which the employee would have been required to work may be counted against the employee's FMLA entitlement" (i.e., counted as intermittent or reduced schedule leave, as applicable). However, an employee's inability to perform voluntary overtime hours may not be counted against an employee's FMLA leave entitlement.

Employer Notice Obligations

According to the DOL, the new regulations consolidate all FMLA employer notice requirements "into a one-stop section of the regulations." These notice requirements are divided into four categories.

  • General Notice. As before, covered employers are required to post a notice explaining the FMLA's provisions and providing information concerning procedures for filing complaints. However, the new regulations state that electronic posting is sufficient, provided employees and applicants can access such materials. In addition, the new regulations clarify that general notice must be supplied to employees in employee handbooks or other written guidance if such materials exist or "by distributing a copy of the general notice to each new employee upon hiring."
  • Eligibility Notice. Under the new regulations, when an employee requests FMLA leave or the employer acquires knowledge that an employee's absence may be for an FMLA-qualifying reason, "the employer must notify the employee of the employee's eligibility to take FMLA leave within five (5) business days, absent extenuating circumstances." If the employee is ineligible, "the notice must state at least one reason why." Once such eligibility is confirmed, "all FMLA absences for the same qualifying reason are considered a single leave," and the employee's eligibility for that reason continues and "does not change during the applicable twelve-month period."
  • Rights and Responsibilities Notice. In addition to the eligibility notice discussed above, employers must also provide written notice to an employee "each time the eligibility notice is provided" regarding specific FMLA expectations and obligations and the consequences for failure to meet the same. This notice may be accompanied by the applicable FMLA medical certification form, if required by an employer for FMLA leave authorization.
  • Designation Notice. Lastly, if requested FMLA leave is approved, employers are further required to provide notice to employees "designating leave as FMLA-qualifying." Such notice must be provided within five (5) business days after an employer "has enough information to determine whether leave is being taken for a FMLA-qualifying reason," absent extenuating circumstances. Thus, unlike the current regulations that require "provisional" FMLA leave designations in some circumstances, employers may now delay final leave designation until a required medical certification form has been returned.

Employee Notice Obligations

  • Foreseeable Leave. As before, employees must provide employers with at least thirty (30) days advance notice before FMLA is to begin if the need for leave is foreseeable. For cases where such notice is not practicable (e.g., because of lack of knowledge of approximately when leave will begin), notice must be given "as soon as practicable." According to the DOL, it should be "practicable" to provide notice "either the same day or the next business day" of when the employee becomes aware of the need for foreseeable leave less than thirty (30) days in advance.
  • Unforeseeable Leave. When the need for leave is unforeseeable, as before, employees must provide notice to the employer "as soon as practicable." However, the new regulations clarify that "it generally should be practicable for the employee to provide notice of leave that is unforeseeable within the time prescribed by the employer's usual and customary notice requirements applicable to such leave" (e.g., calling in to a specified number or contact individual).
  • Notice Content. Under the new regulations, for foreseeable leave, employees must provide sufficient information for an employer to be "aware that the employee needs FMLA-qualifying leave, and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave." For unforeseeable leave, employees must provide "sufficient information for an employer to reasonably determine whether the FMLA will apply to the leave request." As before, when seeking leave for the first time for a FMLA-qualifying reason, employees need not expressly assert or reference their rights under the FMLA. However, the regulations clarify that employees seeking leave due to a qualifying reason for which the employer has granted FMLA leave to the employee in the past "must specifically reference either the qualifying reason for leave or the need for FMLA leave." (Emphasis added). The new regulations further provide that "calling in 'sick' without providing more information will not be considered sufficient notice to trigger an employer's obligations under the Act."

Medical Certification

  • Timing. Under the new regulations, employers now have 5 (versus 2) days after the employee gives notice of the need for leave (or the date that leave begins in the event of unforeseeable leave) to request that an employee furnish medical certification.
  • Separate Employee and Family Member Forms. Employers will recall that the current medical certification form recommended by the DOL is confusing, given that it is designed for leave involving both an employee's own serious health condition and that of an employee's family member. With the new regulations, the DOL includes two separate medical certification forms under - one for an employee's own serious health condition, and one for that of a family member.
  • Incomplete / Vague Certification. If an employer receives an incomplete or "vague, ambiguous or non-responsive" medical certification, the employer must provide the employee seven (7) calendar days to cure any deficiency (unless "not practicable under the particular circumstances despite the employee's diligent good faith efforts"). If the deficiencies specified by the employer are not cured within the time frame required, FMLA leave may be denied. Moreover, according to the DOL in a government-speak acknowledgment of the obvious, a certification that is not returned is not considered incomplete or insufficient, but "constitutes a failure to provide certification."
  • Healthcare Provider Follow-Up. A significant change in the new regulations provides that employer representatives may contact a healthcare provider directly for purposes of clarification and authentication of medical certification forms after giving an employee the opportunity to cure any deficiencies. Such contact must be made using a healthcare provider, a human resources professional, a leave administrator or some other management official of the employer. However, the regulations further provide that "under no circumstances" may an employee's "direct supervisor" contact the healthcare provider.
  • Extended / Chronic Conditions. Where a serious health condition (for an employee's own condition or that of a family member) lasts beyond a single leave year, employers may now require employees to provide a new medical certification each subsequent leave year.
  • ADA / Workers' Compensation Data. In a helpful clarification designed to address concern for HIPAA privacy rules, the new regulations state that employers may consider information provided by employees and their healthcare providers in connection with Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) disability or reasonable accommodation requests and/or workers' compensation claims. Such information may be used to evaluate medical certifications provided and determine an employee's entitlement to FMLA-qualifying leave.

Fitness for Duty Certification

  • Essential Job Functions. In a change from current regulations, the new regulations allow employers to "require that the [fitness for duty] certifications specifically address the employee's ability to perform the essential functions of the employee's job."
  • Job Safety Exception. Unfortunately, the current prohibition remains against employers requesting fitness to return to duty certificates for employees on intermittent or reduced leave schedules. However, under the new regulations, employers may request a fitness to return to duty certificate for such absences up to once every 30 days "if reasonable safety concerns exist regarding the employee's ability to perform his or her duties, based on the serious health condition for which the employee took such leave."

Retaliation / Enforcement

  • Achievement and Incentive Awards. As before, the new regulations provide that with some limited exceptions, employees have a right to reinstatement to the same or an equivalent position that the employee held when leave began upon return from authorized FMLA leave. This includes the right to the same or equivalent pay, benefits and working conditions. However, the new regulations provide that if an employer award or other payment is based on the achievement of a specified goal such as hours worked, products sold or perfect attendance which the employee has not met due to FMLA leave, "then the payment may be denied, unless otherwise paid to employees on an equivalent leave status for a reason that does not qualify as FMLA leave."
  • Liability Waivers. In a significant departure from a prior 4th Circuit court ruling, the new regulations provide that employees may voluntarily settle or release any actual or potential FMLA claims against an employer without the requirement of court or DOL approval. However, prospective waivers of FMLA rights continue to be prohibited.

Military Family Leave

  • Military Caregiver Leave. Under the new regulations, eligible employees who are family members of covered service members are able to take up to 26 workweeks of leave in a "single twelve-month period" to care for a covered service member who: (1) is on the temporary disability retired list; (2) has a serious injury or illness "incurred in the line of duty on active duty" for which he or she is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy; or (3) is otherwise on outpatient status. For purposes of calculating leave entitlement, the regulation provides that the single twelve-month period "begins on the first day the eligible employee takes FMLA leave to care for a covered service member," regardless of the method used by the employer to determine the employee's twelve workweeks of leave entitlement for other FMLA-qualifying reasons."
  • Qualifying Exigency Leave. The new regulations also address the second type of new military family leave entitlement. Specifically, the regulations provide the normal twelve workweeks of FMLA job-protected leave to eligible employees with a covered military member serving in the National Guard or Reserves to use for any "qualifying exigency" arising out of the fact that such member is on active duty or called to active duty status. The regulations define "qualifying exigencies" to include the following eight items (with various caveats): (1) short-notice deployment; (2) military events and related activities; (3) childcare and school activities; (4) financial and legal arrangements; (5) counseling; (6) rest and recuperation; (7) post-deployment activities; and (8) "additional activities" not addressed in the other categories, provided that both the employer and the employee agree to the timing and duration of such leave.

Employer Action Steps

As with any "clarification" of legal rules, the new FMLA regulations present both challenges and opportunities for employers. Thus, regardless of the pros and cons of the outcome, given the tight timeframe for implementation, employers should:

  • Quickly begin to evaluate their current FMLA practices and revise their current policies, notices and forms to comply with the new FMLA requirements.
  • Plan and schedule training for human resource professionals, front-line managers and other personnel involved in day-to-day implementation of the Act so that managers are prepared to address the new requirements when the final revised regulations go "live" in January 2009.

For assistance in updating your current FMLA policies and materials or training employees on the requirements of the new FMLA regulations, please contact any member of the McGuireWoods Labor & Employment  or Employee Benefits teams.

Brian D. Barger
704.343.2072
bbarger@mcguirewoods.com

 

 

Stop the stripping of FMLA rights

 

 

By Chris Salinas

 

 

In 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law. The law was design to help workers get the time off in the event that they became ill, pregnant or needed to take care of a family member. When this law is used for these factors, workers didn't have to worry about losing their jobs or their health insurance. This law has been helpful to millions of workers across the US.

Today, it is under attack by the Bush Administration as they are trying to weaken (and quite possibly destroy) its current purpose of helping workers. The Department of Labor (or is that Anti-Labor) under the direction of Bush appointee Elaine Chao has suggested the following changes as I'll list below.

  • Charging the employee for OT hours used by the employer. Under FMLA, you have 12 weeks (480 hours) of FMLA leave available for your use. If this change is allowed, the hours the employer uses is deducted from the employee on FMLA leave their allotted time. So if an employer uses an employee to cover your absence and they work 6 hours OT, they subtract those 6 hours from your FMLA allotment.
  • Allow anyone in management to inquire with your doctor. Currently, the only one that would know your condition is an individual assigned by the employer to approve/disapprove your FMLA. Also that this individual will only need to know is your condition that qualifies under FMLA. If this change happens, anyone in management could inquire directly with your doctor and learn about anything about your condition. Who to say that your past conditions won't be revealed as well? Basically would allow management to violate your privacy.
  • Requires you to seek a "second opinion", at your expense, if management disagrees with the information. If you have a serious condition and your doctor says that you could have this condition for a year, the employer would have to pay if they disagree with that condition. Under the proposal, you would have to pay even if the second doctor says the same thing as the first doctor.

    We, as postal workers, should be alarmed as we all know what management tries to get away with when it comes to FMLA already. These changes would give them the right to do it. There are other changes mentioned and I recommend you see these changes at our union website. I created a simpler link that you can use to learn more about these FMLA changes. This link is:

    apwu.dynalias.net

    But you only have till April 11th to make comments on these changes. I suggest you write your comments directly to each of the changes rather than just saying something like "Don't change the FMLA law!". But any comment is better than no comment.

    We need to write these comments so that a record shows that many are against these changes, or they'll just happen. I also make a small suggestion, that you don't identify yourself as a union person or government worker. The reason I suggest this is because they would take the average person's word over someone who belongs to a group they know opposes these changes. Let's play their game is what I suggest.

    You can use your word processor and submit an attachment in Word Document, Word Perfect or Text Editor format. When you're ready to submit your comments, submit them at another link I made that will bring you to the proper comment area. The link is:

    fmla.dynalias.net .

    Together we can stop this insanity and save this law from being destroyed! Workers around this country and your family need your help to protect their rights! Make comments as your union can't do it alone!

     
  • Shortly after agreeing to expand leave for military families, the Bush administration proposed new regulations that would weaken employees’ medical privacy protections and make it more difficult for workers to use leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). DOL Issues Proposed Revisions to FMLA Regulations
    The Department of Labor has published a proposal to revise regulations covering several areas of the Family and Medical Leave Act, including notice requirements, medical certification, and the definition for “continuing treatment” of a serious health condition. The department published the proposal in the February 11 edition of the Federal Register. DOL is seeking public comment on the proposal. Comments must be received on or before April 11, 2008.  Overview: Much Anticipated Proposed Revisions to FMLA Regulations Released (2/19|Comments (37)

    FMLA

     

    10 Quick notes:

     

    1. Keep a copy of all paperwork you send it. 

     

    2. Don't turn in FMLA paper work until you have a qualifying leave event - unsolicited

     

    3. Contact your union rep and get some samples of pre filled out FMLA forms, so your doctor can fill your form out right the first time.

     

    4. Do not give diagnosis or prognosis.

     

    5. "Lifetime" is not an acceptable time from for your illness/injury to last. It make be accurate, but you  and your doctor can not swear there will not be a cure in your lifetime. Put durdation up to your next scheduled doctor apointment for this qualifing event.

     

    6. If management gives you a "pending documentation" you have 15 days to provide that. You may ask for more time, and they can grant it - they are not obligated to grant it. Get your info to them before the 15th day. If this is an expense to you - gas, time, doctor bill, file a grievance.  

     

    7. Duration and Frequency: You doctor will be as accurate as they can, no doctor can specificaly state when and how often your illness/event will occur. If you have a sudden increase or decrease in duration and frequency, the postal service may ask for an update on your FMLA qualifing event, and you will have to provide it.

     

    8. You are not obligated to use the WH380. You can use the APWU forms or anything you want as long as it has the required information on it.

     

    9. You have 2 (two) days following return to duty to make management aware you wanted that leave as FMLA.

     

    10. Contact your Union!

     

     

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    • Can an employee get FMLA protection for leave to care for a pregnant daughter who is 18 or older?
    • Generally, no. The Act defines a “son or daughter” as one who is under the age of 18. The only exception for an individual who is 18 and over arises when that individual is “disabled” as defined by the Rehabilitation Act (or ADA) and the individual is incapable of self-care in at least three activities of daily living (i.e. grooming, bathing, eating, etc.) due to that disability. Pregnancy is not, in and of itself, a disability as defined by these statutes.

      Note: The employee (or union representative) is likely to argue - “but pregnancy is a qualifying condition!”

      You must separate qualifying condition from qualifying individual (i.e., parent, spouse, son or daughter, self) when determining whether to grant FMLA. According to the union’s argument, employees would be able to take leave for a pregnant neighbor, friend or other non-qualifying individual. This is not consistent with the law, so the FMLA protection for the employee to care for the 18+ pregnant daughter should still be denied.

    • What do we do if an employee cannot get her health care provider (HCP) to specify frequency and duration for a chronic condition because the provider states it is too difficult to predict?
    • It is the employee’s responsibility to submit the required medical information from her health care provider, which includes providing guidance to the employer regarding the expected frequency and duration of future absences. You can help your employee obtain the information necessary to complete the certification by doing the following: First, send the employee back to her HCP with a letter explaining why the Postal Service is seeking frequency and duration, and what factors go into that determination. (Your FMLA coordinator or field legal counsel will have a sample version of this letter.) Explain that we are not seeking an exact schedule of absences, just an educated prediction. If the condition changes and the frequency or duration exceeds the original prediction, a recertification from the HCP should be sought to address the additional frequency or duration. In addition, you might also explain to the employee that having a specified frequency and duration protects her, (i.e., if she takes leave within a specified frequency and duration, she is less likely to be questioned about it each time). If the employee refuses to go back to her HCP, ask the employee for permission to have our medical department contact the employee's HCP to discuss the expected frequency and duration. This is a good option when the employee claims that the HCP will charge them for a return visit. If the employee refuses to cooperate and provide the information after these two steps, deny the FMLA protection from the date of your initial request for the information until complete information is provided. This same procedure applies to recertification requests.
    • What can we do about employees who abuse intermittent leave certified for chronic conditions, (e.g. have a pattern of absences in conjunction with a non-scheduled day or absences that consistently exceed the frequency and duration)?
    • If you determine that a suspicious pattern exists that is not in conformity with the FMLA certification, you may discuss the pattern with the employee, just as you would with non-FMLA-protected absences. However, you cannot threaten the employee with discipline. State only that you have observed the pattern and ask for an explanation. If the explanation is not forthcoming or is unsatisfactory, require the employee to recertify the next time they request FMLA protection. If the recertification does not support the pattern, deny protection for the leave that exceeds the frequency and duration stated in the certifications. Your guiding factor should be reasonableness. On a cautionary note, you should consult with Labor Relations and/or the Law Department before disciplining an employee for absences that you believe are inconsistent with appropriate FMLA usage. Also, even though the leave may be FMLA protected, the usual ELM procedures for paid leave still apply. This means that if the employee is using paid sick leave for FMLA, you may request supporting documentation whenever the leave exceeds three consecutive days, or where you determine it necessary to protect the interests of the Postal Service. Similarly, if your facility normally requires sick leave documentation for annual leave in lieu of sick leave, you should require the documentation as well. If the documentation is unsatisfactory, you can deny the sick pay or annual leave pay as a corrective action. However, under no circumstances should you characterize an FMLA-protected leave as AWOL. If the employee is using LWOP for their FMLA leave, no sick leave documentation beyond the FMLA certification may be required.
    • What information should I ask for from an employee claiming FMLA for an individual who is in loco parentis?
    • The regulations provide some guidance in this area. The regulations state that persons who are “in loco parentis” include “those with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support a child, or in the case of an employee, who had such responsibility for the employee when the employee was a child. A biological or legal relationship is not necessary.” The regulations also provide that employers can ask for “reasonable documentation or statement of family relationship.” This can be a simple statement from the employee, a court document, school record, tax record, hospital record or cancelled checks. You should ask for approximate dates that the individual served “in loco parentis” as well. Please remember that while we are entitled to ask for and examine official documentation, such as a court document, the original must be returned to the employee.
    • When can I ask for a second opinion?
    • A second opinion is permitted when you have reason to doubt the validity of the information in the certification. This means that where the certification is otherwise complete and where nothing else will be gained by clarification (or the employee will not consent to our clarification efforts), a second opinion is appropriate in order to assess the accuracy of the original certification. Generally, second opinions are very useful for those chronic conditions which entail frequent unscheduled absences. Second opinions to determine whether a SHC exists are also helpful where the leave requested exempts the employee from overtime only. You can only require a second opinion for the original certification. The DOL regulations do not allow second opinions once a recertification has occurred.
    • Should I accept certification signed by a Registered Nurse, instead of a physician?
    • Generally, no. The only nurses who can sign FMLA certifications under the regulations are nurse practitioners and nurse midwives who are authorized under state law to provide diagnosis and treatment. If you are unsure whether the individual you are considering qualifies, consult with your District’s Medical Officer.
    • Can an employee do outside work while on FMLA?
    • Under the FMLA regulations, employees can work while on FMLA provided that the work does not conflict with their medical restrictions. However, ELM Section 513.312 [in ELM 510] prohibits an employee from engaging in gainful employment while on paid sick leave unless the employee receives prior approval from the appropriate authority. Thus, if the employee takes his FMLA leave as LWOP or AL he may engage in outside work that does not conflict with his medical restrictions.
    • Can we count FMLA against an employee for attendance contest purposes?
    • Awards for perfect attendance or for “no unscheduled absences” cannot take FMLA absences into account. However, if practicable, the award can be pro rated to account for the time the employee was out on FMLA leave. In addition, "no sick leave" contests are also permissible because employees who take unpaid FMLA would still be eligible for the award; only employees who elect to use paid sick leave FMLA would not. It is therefore critical that at the beginning of the contest we provide written notice to employees of their rights in this regard so that FMLA users may opt to remain eligible by charging their absence to either AL or LWOP. As to performance-based contests, an employee’s FMLA absences may be taken into account in terms of assessing contribution. For example, if the employee fails to qualify for an award because (s)he was absent, the award may be denied or prorated to account for the lost productivity. The FMLA-protected employee, however, must be treated the same as non-FMLA-protected employee, so you should ensure that non-protected individuals who missed the same amount of time are equally docked.
    • What if an employee wants to save her FMLA for later in the year and won’t turn in a certification form?
    • If the employee refuses or fails to submit a requested certification, you may nonetheless have enough information to determine that the leave should be FMLA-protected via medical documentation which the employee has already submitted (such as in the case of paid sick leave) or from your personal knowledge that the employee is in the hospital. In that case, you should grant FMLA and dock the employee’s bank even if they don’t want you to. It is always management’s responsibility and duty to designate qualifying leave as FMLA-protected and dock the employee’s FMLA bank accordingly. However, if you do not have independent knowledge of a qualifying condition and the employee refuses to provide certification, document that fact and deny FMLA protection. The employee is then subject to discipline for the absences. Some districts have already reported success with DOL denying FMLA protection where management documents that the employee refused to comply with a certification request. If you are considering disciplining any employee for such absences, please consult with Labor Relations and/or the Law Department because if you have independent knowledge that the leave qualifies for FMLA, the DOL may find that we should have protected the leave.
    • What do we do about granting FMLA-protected paid sick leave to employees just before retirement?
    • Generally, a pre-retiree should be treated just like any other employee requesting FMLA-protected and/or paid sick leave. FMLA certification should be required and a determination of the appropriateness of a second opinion should be done. Proper documentation supporting the paid sick leave pursuant to ELM regulations should be required. If the employee exhausts her 12-week bank but remains out on paid sick leave prior to retirement, an inquiry should be made as to the extent and duration of the incapacity from work. If the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of any available position within the Postal Service for which the employee is qualified and the duration of the incapacity is permanent or undeterminable, the employee may be severed in accordance with strict past practice in the District regarding other employees who cannot be reasonably accommodated.
    • Where should I store FMLA certifications?
    • Where RM is not operational, certifications that contain medical diagnoses or other confidential medical information must be kept in the medical unit as confidential medical records. However, since supervisors also need to know about employee work restrictions and predicted frequency and duration of intermittent leaves in order to make correct leave approval decisions, the supervisor may keep redacted copies of certifications in a locked file system in the local office. These records should be kept for a period of three years. Where RM is operational, all FMLA information should be kept in the FMLA coordinator’s office in a locked file cabinet.
    • What should I do if an employee gives me a FMLA certification I did not request?
    • The answer depends upon whether the certification is for foreseeable or unforeseeable leave. If the certification is for a foreseeable absence - for example, if an employee has an operation scheduled or if the employee will need two hours off every Friday off for regularly scheduled chemotherapy appointments - you should accept the certification. The certification essentially gives notice in advance of the leave of the anticipated timing and duration as required by the regulation. If the certification is for unforeseeable absences, however, it should be accepted only if it is in connection with a current absence. Otherwise a certification that attempts to satisfy the notice requirements by indicating that one might have to be absent at some unforeseen time is not satisfactory. Therefore, if an employee brings you a certification that says he has asthma that may flare up from time to time 2-3 times a week, do not accept the certification unless the employee is providing it during a current absence or upon his return from an absence for that condition. In addition to inadequate notice, another reason we do not accept certifications in such cases is to ensure that we get the most current medical information regarding the incapacity from work. Your employee may never be incapacitated from work due to his asthma or the incapacity may not happen until a year from now. Requiring employees to wait until they are actually incapacitated from work due to their individual condition ensures that we get the most current medical assessment of their condition at that time. In addition, since we can only conduct a second opinion in conjunction with original certification, rejecting unsolicited certification until an actual incapacity occurs preserves our right to conduct a timely second opinion, if necessary. Accepting unsolicited recertifications, however, is at your discretion. Once you accept a recertification, you cannot require a second opinion on that condition. On the other hand, if several months have passed since the original certification and the condition appears to have changed, you might want to accept the unsolicited recertification, as you would probably be asking for one anyway. If you decide not to accept an unsolicited certification or recertification for FMLA purposes, you can still accept it for paid leave purposes. In that case, you should send the employee a letter explaining that you are accepting the documentation for sick leave purposes only and not for FMLA purposes.
    • Should I automatically request recertification of on-going FMLA conditions at designated intervals, such as each new leave year or every 60 days?
    • The regulations prohibit automatic recertification policies, so you should consider each FMLA case on its own individual merits. With some FMLA conditions, such as cancer that goes in and out of remission, it may be helpful for you to get updated medical information regarding the status of the condition each year. Thus, you should require recertifications when necessary to monitor any changes in the condition. However, if your employee has a long-term condition that has rarely changed in its frequency and duration, obtaining recertification is probably an unnecessary burden for you and your employee. Always ask yourself why you are requiring this recertification. If the answer is merely because it is a new leave year, you probably should avoid requiring the recertification. Also, please review the frequency limitations on recertifications provided in your supervisor training guide to ensure that a sufficient period of time has elapsed since the last recertification form. In many cases, at least 30 days must have passed since the original certification or last recertification.
    • How do I characterize leave while the certification is pending?
    • Once you have sent out Publication 71 and a Form WH-380 requesting certification, the leave should be marked “Approved FMLA, pending documentation noted on reverse” on Form 3971 and sent to the employee as notice. Due to the amount of supervisory fluctuation, 204(b)s, vacations, etc., conditionally designating the leave as FMLA prevents some other supervisor from mistakenly counting the leave against your employee for disciplinary purposes when a valid certification might actually be on its way. Once the certification comes in, you remove the conditional language and mark the leave “approved” or “disapproved” depending upon the outcome of the certification. Then you must also notify the employee of the final designation via the 3971.

    This page last updated 12/5/06.

            

     

     

    FMLA: COMPLETE CERTIFICATION:

    WHEN AND HOW TO GET SECOND OPINIONS

     

    1. WHAT IS A COMPLETE CERTIFICATION

    The Postal Service can require employees to support their requests for leave under the

    FMLA with a health care provider's certification of their serious health condition. The

    Department of Labor (DOL) has developed an optional form (WH-380) which satisfies FMLA certification requirements. The employee may use Form WH-380, or any other documentation, so long as it contains the same basic information as the WH-380.

    Certification is complete when the employee not only supplies all the information requested, but the information provided is responsive, i.e., it contains enough detail and specificity to enable the supervisor to determine if FMLA leave is warranted. When certification is complete and establishes that the employee is entitled to FMLA, the supervisor must designate the absence as FMLA unless the conditions in sections 3, 4, or 5 below exist.

     

    1. WHAT TO DO WHEN CERTIFICATION IS NOT COMPLETE

    If the information submitted is not complete, it is imperative for the supervisor to (1) advise the employee where the certification is deficient and (2) ask the employee to obtain the necessary information. The employee must be given sufficient time to comply with this request, i.e., at least 15 days from the time of the request.

     

    3. WHAT TO DO WHEN CERTIFICATION IS COMPLETE BUT

    YOU QUESTION ITS AUTHENTICITY

    When you have reason to doubt the authenticity of a certification, for example, when the document appears to have been altered, you should request that the medical unit or contract postal physician contact the employee's health care provider to verify the authenticity of the certification. You can do this by returning a copy of the suspect certification to the employee's health care provider so he/she can see it firsthand in order to verify or deny its authenticity. This inquiry is limited solely to verifying the authenticity of the medical documentation and cannot be used to obtain additional medical information. Note, however, that the regulations provide only for a second opinion as a means of verifying authenticity in the absence of employee consent to

    contact his or her provider.

     

     

     

     

    4. WHAT TO DO WHEN CERTIFICATION IS COMPLETE BUT

    IT IS UNCLEAR WHETHER THE EMPLOYEE'S ABSENCE IS

    ENTITLED TO FMLA PROTECTION

    If you do not understand whether the certification establishes an FMLA protected absence, there are two options available. First, you can seek to clarify the certification.

    Request the employee's permission to have the medical unit or contract physician contact the employee's health care provider to request clarification of the information contained in the document.

    If clarification by the employee's health care provider does not resolve your concern(s) or if the employee denies you permission to contact his or her provider, you should obtain a second opinion.

     

     

     

    5. WHAT TO DO WHEN CERTIFICATION IS COMPLETE BUT

    YOU HAVE REASON TO DOUBT THE VALIDITY OF THE

    INFORMATION

    A second opinion is also appropriate, without the intervening step of clarification, when you have reason to dispute the validity of the information contained in the certification. This can occur initially, when you first receive the certification, or at some subsequent time when circumstances cause you to doubt the validity of the initial certification.

    Unless it is clear from the certification that all information was submitted and that the condition meets the requirements of a SHC, we advise supervisors to seriously consider obtaining second opinions in cases of chronic serious health conditions. This is because once you approve a request for intermittent leave for a chronic condition, the employee can take as much as 9 1/2 hours a week of protected absences in a leave year without running his or her FMLA entitlement. To ensure complete information therefore, a second opinion is a sound investment.

     

    6. GETTING A SECOND OPINION

    The second opinion is at the Postal Service's expense and it includes reasonable out-of-pocket travel expenses incurred to obtain the second opinion.* The time spent by the employee getting a second opinion is unpaid unless, of course, the employee is on sick or annual leave. Employees may use available paid leave if the appointment must be during their tour of duty. If an employee refuses to cooperate with the second opinion process, the employee loses the benefit of FMLA protected leave.

    Employees are also entitled to copies of the second opinion when they request it. The copies should be provided to them within two business days of the request, absent extenuating circumstances. Employees are entitled to the protection of the FMLA pending receipt of the second opinion.

    * Out-of-pocket expenses can also include other miscellaneous items such as copying costs for the medical documents.

    A. Who Gives the Second Opinion

    Contact the Postal Service medical unit or contract physician to get a list of health care providers in your geographic area who specialize in the medical condition in question. Wherever possible, use board-certified specialists. Health care providers employed by or regularly contracted with the Postal Service cannot be used for second opinions. Exceptions may be permissible in rural areas where access to specialists is extremely limited. Consult Labor Relations or the Law Department for additional advice in this regard. The employee or family member may not be required to travel outside normal commuting distance, except in very unusual circumstances.

    B. What Forms Must Be Completed

    Complete PS Form 7381, Requisition for Supplies, Services, or Equipment. Obtain appropriate approvals prior to sending the employee for the second opinion. Note in the justification section of the Form "The Family and Medical Leave Act allows the Postal Service to require a second opinion from a health care provider when it doubts the validity of the medical certification entitling the employee to a maximum of 12 workweeks of job-protected FMLA absence."

     

     

    C. What to Tell the Health Care Provider

    A letter should be prepared for the Postal Service to send in advance to the second opinion provider. This letter should be from either the Postal Service's medical officer/contract physician or from Human Resources. It should advise the selected health care provider to bill the Postal Service for the cost of the second opinion, emphasizing that only an opinion of the serious health condition is requested. It would be helpful to attach a copy of DOL's Form WH-380 and request that it be completed. Advise the health care provider to submit the medical bill and results of his or her findings to your office. Provide the appropriate address or preferably, a self-addressed envelope.

     

    The letter should also inform the health care provider of the essential functions of the employee's position, work schedule, attendance and work environment. If you have specific questions, regarding the serious health condition (for example, expected frequency and duration of intermittent absences) note so in this letter. Attach copies of the prior medical certification as well.

    D. How to do Billing

    Payment for the examination should follow your local buying authority procedures, i.e., impress funds, etc. (See ASM, subchapter 71). When you receive the bill, attach it to the approved PS Form 7381, and submit to the Finance Office or installation head, as appropriate, for payment. The employee should fill out PS Form 1164, Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business, to claim reimbursement for reasonable "out-of-pocket" travel expenses incurred to obtain the second opinion.

     

    7. WHEN THE SECOND OPINION VALIDATES THE FIRST OPINION

    If the second opinion establishes the validity of the first opinion, the employee is entitled to the FMLA protected absences as verified by the second opinion health care provider. The supervisor may then request subsequent recertifications of the employee's medical conditions as specified in 29 C.F.R. 825.308 (DOL regulations).

     

    8. WHEN THE SECOND OPINION DIFFERS FROM THE FIRST OPINION

    If the second opinion does not establish the employee's entitlement to FMLA, the leave shall not be designated as FMLA and may be treated as paid or unpaid leave under the Postal Service's established leave policies. The employee must be notified of the results of the second opinion and of the fact that the leave will not be designated as FMLA.

    If the employee nonetheless believes FMLA leave is appropriate, or if the second opinion confirms the condition is FMLA protected but differs in the amount of leave predicted, the employee may wish to obtain a third opinion. Again, this is at Postal Service expense. Unlike second opinions, though, a health care provider employed by or regularly contracted with the Postal Service may be used for the third opinion. However, the third opinion health care provider must be jointly approved or designated by both the employer and employee. Normally, you should give the employee a list of three or four qualified specialists and ask the employee to choose one. Make the appointment and provide the health care provider with a letter similar to the second opinion letter. The employee is entitled to the protection of the FMLA pending the third opinion.

     

     

    The third opinion is final and binding. Absence of good faith in this process by either party warrants resort to either the first or second opinion, depending on which party fails to cooperate. Billing and other information for the health care provider follow the same procedures as for the second opinion.

    If the certifications do not ultimately establish the employee's entitlement to FMLA, time keeping records are to be corrected to reflect that the absence was not protected by FMLA. The absence may be treated as paid or unpaid leave and is subject to any related disciplinary actions under the Postal Service's established policy.

     

     

     

     

    Employees must sign an authorization form allowing their health care provider to release and disclose medical information to the Postal Service. Contact your field law office for assistance.

     

    For both second opinions and clarifications, employees will need to sign an authorization allowing their health care provider to disclose information directly to the Postal Service. Contact your field law office for assistance.

     

     

     

     

     

    Employees


    ELM REVISION

    Sick Leave for Dependent Care

    Effective October 27, 2005, Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) 513.1, Purpose, and 513.32, Conditions for Authorization, are revised to differentiate sick leave taken for employee incapacitation from sick leave taken for dependent care, and then to clarify that leave taken for care of a qualifying family member, after a maximum of 80 hours of sick leave, will be charged to annual leave, or to leave without pay, at the employee's option.

    513 Sick Leave

    513.1 Purpose

    [Revise 513.1 to read as follows:]

    513.11 Sick Leave for Employee Incapacitation

    Sick leave insures employees against loss of pay if they are incapacitated for the performance of duties because of illness, injury, pregnancy and confinement, and medical (including dental or optical) examination or treatment.

    513.12 Sick Leave for Dependent Care

    A limited amount of sick leave may also be used to provide for the medical needs of a family member. Nonbargaining unit employees, and bargaining unit employees if provided in their national agreements, are allowed to take up to 80 hours of their accrued sick leave per leave year to give care or otherwise attend to a family member (as defined in 515.2) with an illness, injury, or other condition that, if an employee had such a condition, would justify the use of sick leave. If leave for dependent care is approved, but the employee has already used the maximum 80 hours of sick leave allowable, the difference is charged to annual leave or to LWOP at the employee's option. (See 515 for information about FMLA entitlement to be absent from work.)

    * * * * *

    513.3 Authorizing Sick Leave

    * * * * *

    513.32 Conditions for Authorization

    [Revise the fourth entry of the table in 513.32 to change the reference from 513.1 to 513.12 as follows:]

    Conditions
    * * * * *
    For eligible employees (as indicated in 513.12), care for a family member (as defined in 515.2).Up to 80 hours of accrued sick leave per leave year if the illness, injury, or other condition is one that, if an employee had such a condition, would justify the use of sick leave.
    * * * * *

    * * * * *

    We will incorporate these revisions into the next printed version of the ELM and also into the online update, available on the Postal ServiceTM PolicyNet Web site:

    • Go to http://blue.usps.gov.

    • Under "Essential Links" in the left-hand column, click on References.

    • Under "References" in the right-hand column, under "Policies," click on PolicyNet.

    • Click on Manuals.

    (The direct URL for the Postal Service PolicyNet Web site is http://blue.usps.gov/cpim.)

    It is also available on the Postal Service Internet:

    • Go to www.usps.com.

    • Click on About USPS & News, then Forms & Publications, then Postal Periodicals and Publications, and then Manuals.

    — Compensation,
    Employee Resource Management, 10-27-05


    Injured On Duty
    Oct 02, 2010

     

    Americans With Disability Act (ADA) 1990

    Bidding while injured

    Changes in Rehab Act 2008

    COP, Sunday and Military pay

    EEOC Broader Def of Disability

    Employee Righs and Responsibilities CA 1

    Examples of Light Duty Assignments

    FEDup

    Light Duty Overtime

    Limited Duty Assignments

    MSPB and Disability

    OWCP National Reassement Process

    Physically Handicapped MOU - OT

    Rehab act of 1973

    Rehab Law Suit

     Western Area Power Point on Injury Comp 2006

    Workers Comp and Third Parties

    Workers Compensation in Iowa

    More info on Injured on Duty -

    FedWorkersComp.net

    Attorney Working Exclusively For Federal And Postal Employees From All Across  
         The U.S., Seeking To Obtain Disability Retirement Benefits Under FERS & CSRS

    federal disability retirement logo

     

    Injury Compensation Program: All USPS employees are covered by the Federal  Employee's Compensation Act (FECA). The program is administered by the Office of Workers' Compensation (OWCP) - United States Department of Labor. FECA entitles employees that have suffered a job-related disability to:

    • Continuation of regular pay for the period of the disability, up to a maximum of 45 calendar days, for a traumatic job-related injury.
    • Compensation for wages lost as a result of job-related injury or illness.
    • Medical care for disability due to (1) personal injuries sustained while in the performance of duty (2) Diseases proximately caused, aggravated, or accelerated by postal employment.
    • Vocational rehabilitation.

    For more information about injury compensation please consult the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) at USPS.com. Click here!
     

    The following links also have information about injury compensation:

     

    Various Documents and info in being injured at work

    OWCP Claims Processing 101

    (This article first appeared in the January/February 2008 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

    Suffering an injury at work can often be painful; getting a claim approved shouldn’t be. Understanding the basic claims process of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs is an employee’s best defense.

    In order to obtain benefits when an injury occurs at work, notice must be submitted to OWCP. The three most common notices submitted by postal workers to initiate claims are: Traumatic Injury, Occupational Disease, and Recurrence of Disability.

    The Right Form

    If the condition is caused by a single event or a series of events in a single workday or shift, Form CA-1 should be filed. When a notice of such a Traumatic Injury is reported within seven days, the supervisor should provide the employee with Form CA-16 (“Authorization for Examination and/or Treatment”) within four hours of the request, even if the employer doubts the injury is work-related. The CA-16 guarantees payment for most non-invasive treatments, regardless of whether the claim is approved.

    If the condition is caused by a series of events over a period of two or more workdays or shifts, the employee should file Form CA-2, which provides notice of an Occupational Disease. The length of time that a condition takes to manifest itself — not the diagnosis — determines which claim to file.

    The most misunderstood claim is a Recurrence of Disability, which is defined as a worsening of an accepted medical condition without an intervening event. If an accepted medical condition is worsened by the work environment, it is not a recurrence, but is considered a new injury, in which case a new claim should be filed. Also, a recurrence can be claimed when the employer withdraws medically suitable work. Form CA-2a should be filed when a recurrence occurs.

    The Five Requirements

    Giving notice does not automatically entitle employees to Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) benefits. Five requirements must be satisfied to achieve claim approval.

    For a claim to be considered timely, an employee has three years from the date of injury, or from the date that he or she became reasonably aware that a condition was causally related to work, to file.

    As postal employees, we meet the second requirement, being a civilian employee.

    In order to meet the third requirement, fact of injury, both the occurrence of an event (an accident or employment factor) and a resulting medical condition must be established. An event alone, such as a slip and fall or exposure, without a resulting medical condition does not meet the requirement. In cases of latent disability, employees have three years from the onset of the condition to file.

    If the first three criteria have been accepted, the claims examiner must then determine whether the employee was in performance of duty when the injury occurred. Employees who are injured on USPS premises during working hours and are engaging in activity which is reasonably associated with employment are covered. This includes on premises use of restrooms, time spent on breaks or lunch or for personal acts for the employees’ comfort.

    Coverage is also extended to employees who are on premises for a reasonable time before or after work hours, on official union time, in travel status, injured in parking facilities owned, controlled, or managed by the USPS, or off premises when the nature of the work requires it.

    The final requirement, causal relationship, is often the most problematic documentation to obtain. Many doctors simply state that a condition is work-related rather than explaining the causal relationship between the injury and the workplace. Doctors must provide medical reasoning explaining how they came to their conclusions (e.g., how lifting a box caused a herniated disc, or how repetitive grasping caused carpal tunnel syndrome). The medical narrative must connect the dots.

    Failure to satisfy all of these requirements often generates frustrating OWCP developmental letters and can result in denied claims or delays that create financial hardship for the employees and their families.

    All of this can be avoided with a little understanding.

     

    If you are injured while at work you need to check out this information.

     Injured on Duty Information and forms

     More information on Injured on Duty

    APWU Human Relations Info on Injured on Duty

    Federal Injury Compensation 

    The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) provides wage loss compensation and medical benefits to postal and federal employees who become injured or ill as a result of their duties.

    For an overview of laws, regulations, and policies that affect injured postal and federal employees, click here.

     

     

     Workmans Compensation

    non Federal

    Workmans Comp.

    Department of labor 

    Brief Synopsis of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008

     

     

     

     

     

    The following information was obtained from a variety of websites and represents my reading of the Act. It does not represent the current position of the APWU.

    In 1990, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for eliminating discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Upon enactment of the ADA , the United States Supreme Court became constitutionally obligated to interpret and enforce the law in a manner consistent with Congress’s directives. But as a result of several prominent Supreme Court decisions in ADA cases, legislators in Congress have become displeased by the manner in which the law has been interpreted. In response, Congress has passed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), effectively expanding the scope of the original law.

    In expressing its dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court’s decisions in ADA cases, Congress found that the Court has “narrowed the broad scope of protection intended to be afforded by the ADA , thus eliminating protection for many individuals whom Congress intended to protect.” Moreover, Congress found that the definitions of two seminal legal terms used by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) were inconsistent with Congressional intent because they expressed too high a standard for individuals seeking protection under the law. Thus, Congress drafted the ADAAA with the goal of correcting the judicial contraction of the ADA ’s scope, as well as the EEOC’s expansion of several of the ADA ’s minimum applicability thresholds.

    In June 2008, the House of Representatives passed a version of the ADAAA (H.R. 3195) by a vote of 402 to 17; the Senate unanimously approved its own, slightly different version of the ADAAA (S. 3406) on September 11. Six days later, the House approved the Senate’s version, and, on September 25th, President George W. Bush signed the bill into law, which will take effect on January 1, 2009 Although the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in several different areas, the ADAAA will likely have its greatest impact in the employment context, requiring employers with 15 or more employees covered by the ADA to adjust their policies and procedures to comply with the ADAAA. Some of the new law’s significant provisions are described below.

    Scope of “Disability” Broadened


    Determining an individual’s entitlement to protection under the ADA hinges on whether or not that individual suffers from a “disability,” as the term is defined by the ADA . Although other terms and phrases found within the definition of disability have been changed by the ADAAA, the definition of “disability” itself was not. However, what the ADAAA does do is state that “the definition of disability…shall be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals under [the ADA ], to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of [the ADA ].” This provision was included in the ADAAA to reinstate the broad scope of protection afforded by the ADA that, in the view of the Congress, the Supreme Court has improperly narrowed.

    List of “Major Life Activities” Expanded


    To qualify as a disability under the ADA , a physical or mental impairment must substantially limit “one or more major life activities” of an individual. In one Supreme Court decision legislatively overruled by the Congress’s enactment of the ADAAA, the Court had held that the word “major” in this context “need[s] to be interpreted strictly to create a demanding standard for qualifying as disabled.” In the ADAAA, however, Congress has explicitly rejected this standard as contrary to the broad scope of protection that is available under the ADA .

    Moreover, the ADAAA provides an expanded list of “major life activities,” which includes, but is not limited to:

    • caring for oneself;
    • performing manual tasks;
    • everyday activities such as breathing, seeing, hearing, speaking, eating, sleeping, and walking;
    • standing, lifting, and bending;
    • learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, and communicating; and
    • working.

    The ADAAA also introduces a non-exclusive list of major bodily functions, the operation of which constitute major life activities. The list includes, but is not limited to:

    • functions of the immune system;
    • normal cell growth; and
    • functions involving the digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive systems.

    Loosening of “Substantially Limits” Requirement


    While under the ADA a physical or mental impairment must “substantially limit” one or more major life activities, the ADAAA includes several provisions that loosen this requirement. First, the ADAAA rejects the Supreme Court’s requirement that the word “substantially” be interpreted strictly to create a demanding standard for individuals seeking to qualify as disabled. Furthermore, the ADAAA rejects the Supreme Court’s rule that the word “substantially” be read to mean “prevents or severely restricts.” In this regard, the ADAAA significantly reduces the degree of impairment required for protection under the ADA .

    Second, the ADAAA provides that an impairment that substantially limits one major life activity need not limit other major life activities to be considered a disability. Third, the ADAAA provides that an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when it is active.

    Finally, the ADAAA provides that the determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as medication, prosthetics, hearing aids, mobility devices, and oxygen therapy equipment. This provision in the new law expressly overrules a case in which the Supreme Court held that determining whether impairment substantially limits a major life activity requires reference to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures. However, there is an important exception to this rule—one that states that the ameliorative effects of ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses shall be considered in determining whether impairment substantially limits a major life activity. The purpose of this exception is to prevent the many individuals who wear either ordinary glasses or contact lenses from making claims of disability on those grounds.

    Relaxation of “Regarded As” Requirement


    The ADA prohibits discrimination against an individual who is “being regarded as” having a disability. Traditionally, an individual claiming that he or she was “regarded as” having a disability had to prove that an employer regarded him or her as being substantially limited in a major life activity. The ADAAA has lifted this burden of proof by providing that an individual may be unlawfully regarded as having a disability “whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity.” However, the ADAAA provides that transitory and minor impairments which have an actual or expected duration of less than six months are not considered disabilities under the “regarded as” prong of the definition of disability. Additionally, the ADAAA provides that an employer is not required to provide a reasonable accommodation or make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, or procedures for an individual who meets the “regarded as” prong of the definition of disability.

    Shift of Focus in ADA Cases


    Through the ADAAA, Congress has conveyed its intent that the primary object of attention in cases brought under the ADA should be whether covered entities have complied with their obligations and that the question of whether an individual’s impairment qualifies as a disability under the ADA should not demand extensive analysis. Such a shift is significant because the Postal Service has had success in arguing that an employee is not disabled under the ADA and is therefore ineligible for its protection. By reducing the amount of attention that is to be focused on an employee’s status as disabled, it is likely that more ADA cases will end up going to trial rather than being resolved summarily without a trial.

    There is no denying that the ADAAA has expanded the number of individuals who may be entitled to protection under the ADA . At the very least, the ADAAA has made it easier for employees to state a claim under the ADA . At this time, the ultimate impact of the ADAAA is difficult to determine. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that the EEOC has yet to promulgate any regulations interpreting the ADAAA’s provisions.

    Nevertheless, on January 1, 2009, the Postal Service, which is covered by the ADA , will be required to comply with the new law.

     

    Further information will be provided after the EEOC promulgates the new ADAAA regulations.

     
     
    Gary Kloepfer
    Assistant Director
    Maintenance Division

    Legal
    Nov 04, 2010

     Link to more legal info

     

     Accident Investigation Tort Claims - MI

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    Developments in Courts and NLRB 2009-2010

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    Ethics - CFR Code of Conduct

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    (MSPB)

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    MSPB Recommends that Agencies Provide More Information and Flexibility to Supervisors on Alternative Discipline
     
     
     
    Alternative discipline is an approach to addressing misconduct that enables supervisors to consider the nature of the offense, and the personality of the employee, when crafting a response that has the greatest potential to help the employee to avoid future misconduct.  For example, under traditional discipline, Federal supervisors have the authority to suspend an employee without pay if the employee misbehaves— but what if the supervisor thinks another method may have a better chance of changing the employee’s behavior?
     
    The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) has just released a report, Alternative Discipline: Creative Solutions for Agencies to Address Misconduct, that looks at what agencies are doing in this area.  One of the report’s major findings is that few agencies have a formal policy on alternative discipline, and many agencies do not provide formal training or guidance.  This leaves supervisors and organizations to learn about alternative discipline on their own.
     
    “Alternative discipline is a great tool for supervisors to consider if they have an employee who is engaging in misconduct,” says MSPB Chairman Neil A.G. McPhie.  “It empowers proposing and deciding officials to work with the misbehaving employee in order to craft a solution that has the greatest potential to change that employee’s conduct.  Traditional discipline should remain an option for management.  If the supervisor and the employee can agree on a better approach, however, we encourage agencies to consider alternative discipline.”
     
    The MSPB’s support for using alternative approaches to traditional discipline dates back to its early days after its formation following the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.  In a landmark 1981 case, Douglas v.
    Veterans Administration, the Board held that one important factor for agencies to consider when determining the correct penalty is, “the adequacy and effectiveness of alternative sanctions to deter such conduct in the future.”
     
    The MSPB report contains information on how different agencies are using— or not using—alternative discipline and includes a helpful section on important case law for parties to consider when drafting an alternative discipline agreement.

    Postal
    Mar 09, 2009

    Postal Policy

     

     

    From Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) 17.8

    516Absences for Court-Related Service

    516.1 General

    516.11Determining Nature of Court-Related Service

    Installation heads ascertain the exact nature of court service and determine if the employee (a) is entitled to paid court leave, (b) must take annual leave or LWOP, or (c) is to serve in an official duty status. If a summons to witness service is not specific or clear, the installation head contacts appropriate authorities to determine the party on whose behalf the witness service is to be rendered. When the exact nature of court service is determined, records are annotated accordingly. (See Exhibit 516.11 for a summary of leave to be taken according to nature of service.)

    Exhibit 516.11

    Absences for Court-Related Service

    Nature of Service

    Court Leave

    Annual Leave or LWOP

    Official Duty

    I. Jury Service:

    blank

    blank

    blank

    (A) U.S. or D.C. court.

    x

    -

    -

    (B) State or local court.

    x

    -

    -

    II. Witness Service:

    blank

    blank

    blank

    (A) On behalf of U.S. or D.C. government.

    -

    -

    x

    (B) On behalf of state or local government:

    blank

    blank

    blank

    (1) In official capacity.

    -

    -

    x

    (2) Not in official capacity.

    x

    -

    -

    (C) On behalf of private party:

    blank

    blank

    blank

    (1) In official capacity.

    -

    -

    x

    (2) Not in official capacity:

    blank

    blank

    blank

    (a) Postal Service a party.

    x

    -

    -

    (b) Postal Service not a party.

    -

    x

    -

    516.12 Explanation of Terms

    The following definitions apply for the purposes of 516.

    a. Judicial proceedings - any actions, suits, or other proceedings of a judicial nature but not including administrative proceedings such as National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearings and hearings conducted in accordance with 650, Nonbargaining Disciplinary, Grievance, and Appeal Procedures.

    b. Summons - an official request, invitation, or call, evidenced by an official writing from the court or authority responsible for the conduct of the judicial proceeding.

    516.2 Court Leave

    516.21 Definition

    Court leaveis the authorized absence from work status (without loss of or reduction in pay, leave to which otherwise entitled, credit for time or service, or performance rating) of an employee who is summoned in connection with a judicial proceeding, by a court or authority responsible for the conduct of that proceeding, to serve as a juror, as a witness in a nonofficial capacity on behalf of a state or local government, or as a witness in a nonofficial capacity on behalf of a private party in a judicial proceeding to which the Postal Service is a party or the real party in interest. The court or judicial proceeding may be located in the District of Columbia, a state, territory, or possession of the United States, including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

    516.22 Eligibility

    Court leave is granted to full-time and part-time regular employees. Certain part-time flexible employees are granted court leave as provided and governed by applicable collective bargaining agreements. Other employees are ineligible for court leave and must use either annual leave or LWOP to cover the period of absence from postal duties for court service but may retain any fees or compensation received incident to such court service.

    Court leave is granted only to eligible employees who would be in work status or on annual leave except for jury duty or service as a witness in a nonofficial capacity on behalf of a state or local government, or service as a witness in a nonofficial capacity on behalf of a private party in a judicial proceeding to which the Postal Service is a party or the real party in interest. An employee on LWOP, when called for such court service, although otherwise eligible for court leave, is not granted court leave but may retain any fees or compensation received incident to court service.

    516.23 Recording CourtLeave

    The following provisions concern the recording of court leave:

    a. Employees Other Than Rural Carriers. PS Form 1224, Court Duty Leave - Statement of Service, is prepared at the time an employee is authorized court leave. Instructions for preparing PS Form 1224 appear in Handbook F-1, Post Office Accounting Procedures, 823; in Handbook F-21, Time and Attendance, 353.3; and in Handbook F-22, PSDS Time and Attendance, 353.3.

    b. Rural Carriers. When a rural carrier is on court leave, the postmaster records it as "Other" leave on PS Form 1314, Regular Rural Carrier Time Certificate, and describes the court service performed on the reverse side of the form. (See Handbook F-1, 445.5 for recording and reporting fees.)

    516.3 Conditions Affecting Court-Related Service

    516.31 Employee on Annual Leave

    If an eligible employee while on annual leave is summoned for court service that qualifies for court leave or official duty (see 516.11), the employee's annual leave is canceled and the employee is placed on court leave or official duty for the duration of such court service. Employees who are not entitled to court leave or official duty must use annual leave or LWOP for the period of absence from duty for such court service.

    516.32 Combination of Court Leave and Postal Duty

    The following provisions concern combinations of court service and postal duty:

    a. Employees Who Report for Court Service and Are Excused Early. If an employee reports for court service and is excused by the court for the balance of the day, or performs court service for only part of that day, the employee is entitled to full compensation for the day in question. An employee who would otherwise be in a work status is required to report to the postal installation for the balance of the postal tour of duty provided (1) an appreciable time of the tour is involved and (2) it is feasible to report to work and complete the tour. Combined paid court leave and postal duty may not exceed 8 hours.

    b. Employees Who Serve a Full Day in Court. Employees serving a full day in court service are not required to report to their postal duties.

    c. Employees Excused From Court Service for an Extended Period. Employees, including rural carriers, who are excused from court service for an entire day or days are not entitled to compensation for such days unless they actually perform service as postal employees.

    No overtime is allowed for court service performed while an employee is on court leave or for a combination of postal work and such court service.

    516.33 Accommodation of Employees Called for Court Service

    The following provisions concern accommodation of employees called for court service:

    a. Employee Options. Employees who are eligible for court leave and who have a conflict with court duty and work schedules have the following options:

    (1) (Work their postal tours of duty in addition to performing court service.

    (2) (Have their work schedules changed temporarily to conform to the hours of court service. (Employees who do not choose this option may not have their work schedule changed and are expected to report for postal duty upon completion of their court service.)

    b. Performance of Postal Tour of Duty in Addition to Court Service. If employees work their full postal tours of duty in addition to performing court service, their court service is not charged to court leave as the court service is performed outside of their postal tours of duty. Accordingly, employees may retain any fees or payment received incident to such court service. If employees choose to work their full postal tours of duty in addition to performing court service, but are required to be in court beyond the starting time of their scheduled tours, they report for postal duty as soon as possible after completion of court service and work the remaining hours of their scheduled tours. The hours of court service that overlap the employees' scheduled tours of duty are charged to court leave and the employees remit to the Postal Service that portion of court fees received for the hours charged to court leave. The combined court leave and postal workhours may not exceed 8 hours.

    c. Temporary Change in Schedule. Employees who choose to have their work schedules changed temporarily to conform to court service hours submit PS Form 3189, Request for Temporary Schedule Change for Personal Convenience, as soon as possible, together with PS Form 3971, requesting such schedule change to the appropriate postal official at their installation (see Handbook F-21, Time and Attendance, 232.23). Such request states that the schedule change is for the employee's personal convenience and is agreed to by the local union. Employees who exercise this option receive full compensation for the period of court service including any applicable night differential for the revised schedule.

    516.4 Fees

    516.41General

    Employees may retain any court allowance in the amount of $25 or less per day on days court leave is authorized. Employees must remit to their supervisor amounts received in excess of $25 per day. Employees who are eligible to receive such fees are not authorized to waive the fee.

    516.42 Court Service Outside of Regular Working Hours or Regular Working Days

    Employees who perform court service outside of their basic workweek (on scheduled days off) or outside of their scheduled tour of duty, for which no court leave is granted, may accept and retain the jury or witness fees or payment received incidental to such court service.

    516.43 Holidays

    Fees received for court service falling on a holiday within an employee's basic workweek may be retained by the employee provided the employee would have been excused from regular postal duties on the holiday.

    516.44 Annual Leave or LWOP

    Employees who are on annual leave and do not change, or are not eligible to change, the annual leave to court leave or who are on LWOP for court service may retain fees or payment received incidental to such service.

    516.45 Recording and Reporting of Fees

    Postmasters record and report fees in accordance with instructions in Handbook F-1, 793. Other installation heads forward collections of jury or witness fees to the disbursing officer, Eagan ASC. If court service is to be performed in a state court, the installation head determines the exact amount of compensation received from the state.

    516.5 Official Duty

    516.51 Definition

    An employee is in an official duty status (as distinguished from a leave status and without regard to any entitlement to court leave) if assigned by the Postal Service or summoned by proper authority to:

    a. Testify in a judicial proceeding or produce official postal records on behalf of the United Statesor the District of Columbia. (Such testimony may be in an official or nonofficial capacity.)

    b. Testify in a judicial proceeding in an official capacity or produce official postal records on behalf of a party other than the United Statesor the District of Columbia.

    Note:Official duty means that the testimony the witness provides concerns the witness's specialized knowledge of Postal Service facts, procedures, or methods gained by performing his or her job. For example, a postal supervisor would be in an official capacity if called to explain how the Postal Service processes a particular class of mail. A carrier would be in an official capacity if called to confirm a delivery he or she made. On the other hand, a carrier would not be in an official capacity as a witness to a car accident, even if a postal vehicle were involved, because observing car accidents is not part of a carrier's job.

    516.52 Compensation

    Employees who perform witness service in an official duty status are paid their regular salaries as Postal Service employees, including any applicable night differential and overtime pay. In addition, such employees collect the authorized fees and any allowances for travel and subsistence expenses and retain an amount equal to actual allowable expenses. All amounts collected over and above the amount of the employee's actual allowable expenses are remitted to the postal official in charge (see Handbook F-15, Travel and Relocation, 9-1.2).

    516.6 Witness Service in a Nonofficial Capacity on Behalf of a Private Party

    An employee who is summoned to testify in a nonofficial capacity (as a private individual) on behalf of a private party is not performing official duty. The employee's absence is charged to court leave if the testimony is given in a judicial proceeding to which the Postal Service is a party or the real party in interest. If the Postal Service is not a party or the real party in interest, the employee's absence is charged to annual leave or LWOP.

     

     

    From Handbook F – 15, Travel and Relocation:

    Handling Expenses for Special Travel Situations

     

    9-1   As a Witness

    If you are on travel status as a witness, the expenses you are allowed to claim vary according to the reasons that you are serving as a witness.

     

     

    9-1.1 While on Court Leave

    If you serve as a witness while on court leave, you may keep any money you receive for travel and subsistence expenses. For the fees associated with witness duty, see Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM), Part 516.

     

     

    9-1.2 While in an Official Duty Status

    If you serve as a witness while in an official duty status, you are entitled to compensation from the Postal Service for actual allowable expenses (travel and subsistence) as if you were on regular travel. See the appropriate chapters of this handbook for information.

     

    You may accept authorized witness fees and expense allowances, but you may keep only an amount equal to your actual allowable expenses.

                                            If the Witness Fee...         Then You

                                            a.  Exceeds your allowable  Must turn over to the Postal Service the

                                                 expenses                        excess amount.

                                            b.  Does not cover your       May submit an expense report to cover the

                                                 actual allowable expenses         balance. Be sure to specify the amount

                                                                                        you have already been paid and attach

                                                                                        your subpoena to the Receipt Report if on

                                                                                        eTravel or if using manual voucher to your

                                                                                        PS Form 1012.

     

     

    9-1.3   While in Another Status

    If you serve as a witness and are not entitled to be on court leave or in an official duty status, you may keep any fees or other compensation you receive for serving. For the fees associated with witness duty, see Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM), Part 516.

     

     

    February 2004                                                                                                                       71

      9-2                                                                                                         Travel and Relocation

     

     

    9-2    As a Juror

     

    If you are on court leave, follow these guidelines to determine what payments you may keep and what you must turn over to the Postal Service:

     

    a.        You may keep any allowances that you receive for a daily rate of $25 or less. If the allowance exceeds $25 per day, you must remit the excess to your supervisor.

     

    b.           You must turn over to the Postal Service any payments from the court that represent a salary for your services.

     

     

    9-3    At the Request of Another Postal Service Installation

     

    If another Postal Service installation requests that you come for official business, meetings, or an interview, that installation must pay your allowable travel expenses.

     

    For any other official travel requested by another installation, you must fill out an expense report. The installation requesting your travel gives you a memorandum showing the proper finance number for you to use. Be sure to attach a copy of this memorandum to your completed expense report and submit it to the requesting installation for approval. Use that finance number when completing your expense report and submit your expense report to the requesting installation for approval.

     

     

    9-4    At the Request of a Government Agency~

     

    When a government agency requests you to travel, you must obtain approval from your appropriate approving official (see Appendix C). The agency requesting your travel does one of the following:

     

    1.           Provides instructions for billing the agency for your travel expenses.

    2.           Provides instructions for reimbursing you directly for your travel expenses.

     

    Follow their instructions for submitting your travel claim for reimbursement.

     

     

    9-5    As a Representative of an Employee Organization

     

    If you are a representative of an employee organization, you may be

    approved to travel depending upon the purpose.

     

     

     

    72                                                                                                                      Handbook F-15

    Finance

    HANDBOOK AND ELM REVISIONS

    Payments to Jurors

    Effective September 4, 2003, Handbook F-15, Travel

    and Relocation, and the Employee and Labor Relations

    Manual (ELM) are revised to change the policy regarding

    what payments a juror may keep when on court leave. The

    payment to a juror for actual expenses, including mileage

    reimbursement based on miles driven, is not considered a

    court allowance.

     

    We will incorporate these revisions into the next printed

    edition of Handbook F-15 and the ELM and also into the

    next update of the online versions accessible on the Postal

    Service_ PolicyNet Web site at http://blue.usps.gov; click

    on More References, then HBKs or Manuals, respectively.

    Handbook F-15, Travel and Relocation

    * * * * *

    9 Handling Expenses for Special Travel

    Situations

    * * * * *

    9-2 As a Juror

    [Revise the introductory statement and item a in subchapter

    9-2 to read as follows:]

    If you are on court leave, follow these guidelines to determine

    what payments you may keep:

    a. You may keep any allowances that you receive

    for a daily rate of $25 or less. If the allowance exceeds

    $25 per day, you must remit the excess to your

    supervisor.

    * * * * *

    Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM)

    * * * * *

    5 Employee Benefits

    510 Leave

    * * * * *

    516 Absences for Court-Related Service

    * * * * *

    516.4 Fees

    516.41 General

    [Revise 516.41 to read as follows:]

    Employees may retain any court allowance in the amount

    of $25 or less per day on days court leave is authorized.

    Employees must remit to their supervisor amounts received

    in excess of $25 per day. Employees who are eligible to receive

    such fees are not authorized to waive the fee.

    * * * * *

    — National Accounting,

    Finance, 9-4-03

     

     

    Hours Codes Definitions - Payroll Journals

    The following chart provides a listing of the hours codes used for timekeeping purposes within USPS timekeeping systems.

    HOURS CODES FOR TIMEKEEPING

    CITY TIME AND ATTENDANCE CODES

    FOOT-NOTES

    HOURS

    CODE

    TIME CARD CODE DESC

    XFOOT

    PAY MULT

    FLSA

    TCOLA RET BASE

    HRS WKD

    LV

    HRS

    PREMHRS

     

    01

    FLMA ANNUAL LEAVE

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    02

    FMLA SICK LEAVE

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    03

    FMLA CONTINUATION OF PAY

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    04

    FMLA OWCP WOP HOURS

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    05

    FMLA PART DAY WOP

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    06

    FMLA FULL DAY WOP

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    07

    FMLA SL DEPENDENT CARE

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    08

    SICK LV DEPENDENT CARE

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    09

    FMLA - RURAL CARRIERS

    A

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    N

     

    24

    ABSENCE WITHOUT LEAVE

    A

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    28

    HOLIDAY ANNUAL LEAVE

    N

    0.00

    N

    N

    N

    N

    N

     

    30

    FULL LWOP HOURS (GEN)

    A

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    31

    PARTIAL LWOP HRS (GEN)

    A

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    32

    TELETIME

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    N

     

    33

    GUARANTEE TELETIME

    N

    1.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Y

     

    34

    BEEPER TIME

    N

    1.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Y

    1

    35

    XTRA STRAIGHT TIME

    S

    1.00

    N

    N

    Y

    N

    N

     

    36

    GUARANTEE TELE OVERTIME

    N

    1.50

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Y

    5

    38

    EXTRA 50% PREMIUM (ADJ. ONLY)

    N

    0.50

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Y

    6

    39

    EXTRA STRAIGHT TIME (ADJ. ONLY)

    N

    1.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    N

    1

    43

    PENALTY OVERTIME PAYMENT

    S

    2.00

    N

    N

    Y

    N

    Y

     

    44

    MILITARY LWOP

    A

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    45

    LEAVE SHARE - FAMILY (FUTURE USE)

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    46

    LEAVE SHARE - PERSONAL

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    47

    RURAL FREE SATURDAY TIME

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    48

    HOLIDAY SCHEDULE PREMIUM

    N

    0.50

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Y

     

    49

    OWCP WOP HOURS

    A

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    50

    TRIPS (RURAL CARRIERS)

    N

    0.00

    N

    N

    N

    N

    N

     

    51

    RURAL ACTUAL HOURS

    N

    0.00

    N

    N

    N

    N

    N

     

    52

    WORK HOURS

    A

    1.00

    N

    Y

    Y

    N

    N

    1

    53

    OVERTIME HOURS

    S

    1.50

    N

    N

    Y

    N

    Y

    8

    54

    NIGHTWORK PREM HOURS

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Y

     

    55

    ANNUAL LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    56

    SICK LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

    1

    57

    HOLIDAY WORK

    S

    1.00

    N

    N

    Y

    N

    Y

     

    58

    HOLIDAY LEAVE

     A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    59

    PART DAY WOP

     A

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    60

    FULL DAY WOP

     A

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    61

    COURT LEAVE

     A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    62

    GUARANTEE TIME

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    7

    63

    LEAVE/NO-OT CROSSFOOT

    S

    0.00

    N

    N

    N

    N

    N

     

    64

    RURAL RELIEF DAY EARNED

    N

    0.00

    N

     

     

     

     

    2

    65

    MEETING TIME

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    N

     

    66

    CONVENTION LEAVE

     A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    67

    MILITARY LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

    3

    68

    GUARANTEE OVERTIME

    S

    1.50

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Y

     

    69

    BLOOD DONOR LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

    2

    70

    STEWARDS DUTY TIME

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    N

     

    71

    CONTINUATION OF PAY LEAV

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

    9

    72

    SUNDAY PREMIUM

    N

    0.25

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Y

    2

    73

    OUT OF SCHEDULE PREMIUM

    N

    0.50

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Y

    4

    74

    CHRISTMAS WORK

    S

    1.50

    N

    N

    Y

    N

    Y

     

    75

    LOANED TO HOURS (NO LONGER USED)

    A

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    N

     

    76

    NON-SCHEDULED CROSS-FOOT

    A

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    N

     

    77

    CIVIL DEFENSE LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    78

    ACT OF GOD LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    79

    NAT/LOC ADMIN LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    80

    RELOCATION LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    81

    CIVIL DISORDER LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

    2

    82

    TRAVEL WITHIN SCHED HRS

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    N

    2

    83

    TRAVEL OUTSIDE SCHED HRS

    N

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    N

     

    84

    UNION OFFICIAL LEAVE

    A

    0.00

    Y

    N

    N

    Y

    N

     

    85

    VOTING LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    86

    OTHER PAID LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

     

    87

    RURAL RELIEF DAY USED

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    2

    88

    NONBARGAIN RESCHED PREM

    N

    0.50

    Y

    N

    N

    N

    Y

     

    89

    POSTMSTER ORGAN LEAVE

    A

    1.00

    Y

    Y

    N

    Y

    N

    FOOTNOTES

    1.  Included in work hours on T&A and hours history but not on pay data file. (Bargaining unit RSC = N – non-bargaining unit RSC = E/FLSA exempt code = S).

    2.  Hours traveled within an employee’s schedule (code 82) are included in the work hours field.  Hours traveled outside an employee’s schedule are recorded as code 83 but not included in the work hours field.  Hours entered as code 83 are added to work hours in the calculation of FLSA entitlement.

    3.  Included in guaranteed time on T&A and hours history but not on pay data file.

    4.  Included in work hours on T&A and hours history but not on pay data file with the exception of PTFs and casuals.  These hours are included in work hours on pay data file also.

    5.  Adjustment only – limit of 40 hours a week. Excluded from FLSA calculation.  Hours worked over 12 per day or 60 per week and a timely grievance filed. Also used to pay additional 50% premiums resulting from any settlement when hours were not worked.

    6.  Adjustment only - limit of 40 hours/week.  Excluded from FLSA calculation.  Employee improperly assigned to work holiday (full-time or part-time regular employees only).  Also used to pay hours at 100% resulting from a settlement when hours being paid were not worked.

    7.  Crossfoot hours for APWU transitional employees when weekly work hours are 40.00 or less, but combination of work and leave exceed 40.00. These employees receive overtime for work hours over 40.00. -Does not apply to NALC (83-4). Effective PP 15/96, hours code 63 is used to crossfoot time records for EAS employees with an exempt code = N.

    8.  Night differential hourly rates are paid to employees in rate schedule codes: A, C, M, N, P, and Q.  The applicable programs have been hard-coded with charts issued by compensation and are based on the fixed dollar amount specified in the applicable bargaining agreement. EAS night differential rate reduced from 10% to 9% effective PP15/96 and was further reduced to 8%, effective PP 02/2000.  Employees in rate schedule code T also have night differential based on 9%. 

    9.  Effective PP 15/96, the Sunday premium rule changed for EAS employees.  Sunday premium for EAS employees will be paid only for hours worked between midnight Saturday and midnight Sunday.

    *XFOOT LEGEND

        A = Add

        N = Neutral

        S = Subtract

     

     

    Advanced Sick Leave

     

     

    Advanced sick leave is designed to accommodate an employee who uses all available sick leave and then requests advance sick leave for a medical reason. When management considers a request for advance sick leave it bears the obligation to be both reasonable and timely in making a determination ELM 513.5 –

    http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/elm/elmc5/elm510.pdf

     

     

    Things to Avoid:

     

    1. Not having a factually-based good reason for denying an employee’s request for advanced sick leave.  Such as:

     

      1. Denying the request because it is believed the employee will not return to work but having no evidence to support that belief. Without evidence, you should have reasonable expectation that the employee will be able to return to duty and work at least long enough to repay the advanced sick leave.

     

      1. Denying the request because the employee has been absent extensively. Using the reasoning that the employee has been absent extensively may not be upheld if the vast majority of absences are for documented medical reasons.

     

      1. Denying the request because the employee abuses his/her sick leave. You must have evidence to show that the employee was counseled or disciplined for failure to maintain regular attendance.

     

      1. Granting one employee advanced sick leave when a similarly situated employee was denied advance sick leave. This is considered disparate treatment.

     

      1. Denying a request because the employee has insufficient annual and sick leave hours. This reasoning defeats the purpose of allowing advanced sick leave. Employees with sufficient sick leave hours do not submit requests for advanced sick leave.

     

    Things to Consider:

     

    1. Make sure that the application for advanced sick leave is supported by medical documentation.

     

    1. Documented abuse of sick leave may be sufficient reason to deny a request for advanced sick leave. The evidence of abuse must show that steps have been taken by management to correct the situation – i.e., counseling, discipline.

     

    1. Sick leave may be advanced in cases of serious disability and ailment if there is reason to believe the employee will return to duty.

     

     


    Privacy
    Mar 03, 2011

     

    AS 353 Guide to Privacy and FOIA

    FOIA Privacy Act

    Got Questions - FOIA and Privacy

    Pub 550 For the Record

    Pre Arb RMD Settlement

    Privacy Act Book - Burrus

    Privacy Act Claim 1999

    Privacy Act 2002

    Privacy Act Claim

    Privacy and Medical Records

    Privacy Policy USPS

    Privacy Responsibility USPS

    Privacy Rules DHHS

    Pub 453 Respect Privacy

    Union Access to Supervisors Records


    Rights
    Apr 01, 2009

     Weingarten Rights when under investigation by the USPS

     Q & A Weingarten Rights

    Roberts rules of Order 

    Your Rules and rights for Union

    Meetings, absent specific language

    in your local, state or national

    constitutions.

     

     

     

    YOUR RIGHTS TO: THE

    GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE,

    WINEGARTEN RIGHTS, HATCH

    ACT (POLITICAL ACTIVITIES) 

    EEO, AND MIRANDA RIGHTS 

     

     

    ARTICLE 15

     

    GRIEVANCE-ARBITRATION

    PROCEDURE

    Section 1. Definition

     

     

       

    Ask for a Steward!

     

     If you are ever asked to go with someone in management or with the inspection service, you need to ask for a union steward!

    Once you are in a meeting or discussion with someone in managment you need to make the following statement to them:

    "If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my presonal working conditiions, I request that my union representative, officer, or steward be present at the meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions."

     

    Before you Talk!

    If the Postal Inspectors or Office of Inspector General (OIG) Agent wants to talk to YOU!

    Ask for a union steward before you say anything to them!

    Weingarten Rights

    EMPLOYEE'S RIGHT TO UNION REPRESENTATION

    The right of employees to have union representation at investigatory interviews was announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1975 case (NLRB vs. Weingarten, Inc. 420 U.S. 251, 88 LRRM 2689). These rights have become known as the Weingarten rights.

    Employees have Weingarten rights only during investigatory interviews. An investigatory interview occurs when a supervisor questions an employee to obtain information which could be used as a basis for discipline or asks an employee to defend his or her conduct.

    If an employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says, the employee has the right to request union representation. Management is not required to inform the employee of his/her Weingarten rights; it is the employees responsibility to know and request.

    When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present management has three options:
    (I) it can stop questioning until the representative arrives.
    (2) it can call off the interview or,
    (3) it can tell the employee that it will call off the interview unless the employee voluntarily gives up his/her rights to a union representative (an option the emplovee should always refuse.)

    Employers will often assert that the only role of a union representative in an investigatory interview is to observe the discussion. The Supreme Court, however, clearly acknowledges a representative's right to assist and counsel workers during the interview.

    The Supreme Court has also ruled that during an investigatory interview management must inform the union representative of the subject of the interrogation. The representative must also be allowed to speak privately with the employee before the interview. During the questioning, the representative can interrupt to clarify a question or to object to confusing or intimidating tactics.

    While the interview is in progress the representative can not tell the employee what to say but he may advise them on how to answer a question. At the end of the interview the union representative can add information to support the employee's case.

        On June 15, 2004, The National Labor Relations Board ruled by a 3-2 vote that employees who work in a nonunionized workplace are not entitled under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act to have a coworker accompany them to an interview with their employer, even if the affected employee reasonably believes that the interview might result in discipline.
       This decision effectively reversed the July 2000 decision of the Clinton Board that extended Weingarten Rights to nonunion employees.

    EEO 

    ORAL HEARING OR FINAL AGENCY DECISION? (9/26/07)
    By J.R. Pritchett, POSTAL EMPLOYEE ADVOCATE
    September, 2007

    Whenever a federal employee finds that they may have been the victim of unlawful discrimination, they find themselves having to navigate through a complex and technical EEO administrative process in order to prove that they were discriminated against.

    So here's my view on how the system currently works. You have to make sure that you contact a Postal Service EEO Counselor within 45-days of the date of the act, policy or practice that you allege is discriminatory. If you are even one (1) day late your complaint will be dismissed as untimely. [At the time of this article employees can contact the Postal Service's National Equal Employment Investigative Services Office (NEEOISO) in Tampa, Florida at 888-336-8777.] You have to make certain that you properly identify the type or basis of your complaint of discrimination (race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, or reprisal for prior protected EEO activity). The Postal Service prefers to use their own forms (though it is not mandatory that you use them) which leave you little space to fully describe everything that is requested. This is either intentional, or was created by someone with an inability to anticipate that some people don't write in eight-point font.

    If you don't agree to REDRESS mediation, or otherwise agree to extend the informal complaint period, within 30-days of when you filed the informal complaint, you should receive a Notice of Right to File a Formal Complaint. There doesn't seem to be any consequences to the Postal Service if they miss their time limits.

    Once you file your formal complaint (don't forget about those pesky time limits) you then wait to find out how NEEOISO will frame or describe your complaint. They will also advise you what issues they agree to accept for investigation and what issues will be dismissed. Yes, you can write back within ten (10) days and disagree, but other than that, you have no recourse except to place your objection on the record. The accepted issues are assigned to a contract investigator (many who are retired Postal Service managers), who will send you copious questions that you must answer in affidavit form. Though s/he likely won't ask, you should take advantage of this opportunity by entering additional testimony related to the issues that were dismissed.

    After struggling to get sufficient time on-the-clock from your supervisor to properly respond to the affidavit questions, you again wait for a copy of the Report of Investigation (ROI). The file (usually a proper government pale-green) is supposed to reflect an unbiased compilation of evidence related to your complaint, without drawing any conclusions or opinions. The ROI not only contains your affidavit, but should also contain the affidavit(s) of the individual(s) who were named as being responsible for the discriminatory act; exhibits of relevant documents; and a summary of the evidence contained therein.

    A cover letter should accompany the ROI advising you of several options regarding how to proceed. A.) Take no action at all and within forty (40) days the Postal Service must provide you with a copy of its Final Agency Decision (FAD). B.) You can specifically request an FAD. (Don't get your hopes up that the Postal Service will find that they discriminated against you). C.) You can also submit a Request to Withdraw your Complaint (something that you've just waited all this time to do - insert thick sarcasm here). Your final option is, D.) you can ask for an Oral Hearing before an EEO Commission Administrative Judge (finally, you think to yourself - someone who doesn't work for the Postal Service). Generally, a form is enclosed to use to request a hearing, which instructs the complainant to send their request directly to NEEOISO (which is a Postal Service office). There is no prohibition (in fact a preference) to send requests for a hearing directly to the EEO Commission District or Field Office indicated in the cover letter, via Certified Mail. Send a courtesy copy of your request to NEEOISO. Once an AJ has been assigned and you receive an Acknowledgement Order you have new procedural requirements, along with varying imposed time limits. When engaging in discovery, you must do so within twenty (20) days of the date of the Order. Discovery is very important because it's FINALLY your (only) opportunity to request information, documents, and other responses from the Postal Service in order to supplement the ROI. When it's clear that the investigator compiled information or evidence that favors management, or was weak in supporting your case, then you have to gather sufficient information that favors your claim of discrimination. This can include obtaining depositions and/or affidavits from responding management officials (RMO's) and other witnesses. (Make sure that you're doing all this stuff on-the-clock, folks.)

    Within thirty (30) days of the Acknowledgement Order you must submit any Motion to Amend your complaint. This is your opportunity to submit your arguments to the AJ why issues that had been dismissed, should be reinstated as an issue before the Commission. The most persuasive argument occurs when you can show that the reason(s) given for the dismissals were improper or not in accordance with law. At the conclusion of discovery, which is usually only a sixty (60) day window, your next major hurdle occurs when the Postal Service files a Motion for a Decision without a Hearing - also know as Summary Judgment. If the Postal Service doesn't file the motion fast enough for the AJ, you can expect a notice from him/her called a Notice of Intent to Issue a Decision without a Hearing. Of course judge's love this little legal maneuver because it gets the complaint off of their desk without them having to actually fully investigate your allegations of discrimination. So you find yourself arguing again that there is significant dispute of the material facts that should entitle you to a hearing. After all, what other reason would motivate you to submit yourself to this tedious, stressful, time-consuming, demanding, costly, and overly complicated and technical process?

    If you find yourself to be one of the few "lucky ones" (and I don't mean it in a cavalier way) and the AJ finds that Summary Judgment would not be appropriate, you may finally get "your day in court". You might feel like this is the pinnacle of your achievement - the opportunity for someone to finally hear your side of the story. Not to burst your bubble, but overwhelmingly AJ's rule in favor of the employing agency.

    If your complaint has not been bifurcated (separates the evidence on liability from the evidence on damages), then during the hearing you will also be expected to produce evidence and testimony regarding your claim for damages. This process especially can be extremely stressful and personally intrusive. And more often than not, damage awards rarely fully compensate what the complainant experienced. There are no punitive damages available in the federal sector - which would be the only sensible method to deter the Postal Service from its institutional behavior. Also, you cannot be compensated for the stress experienced or caused by the litigation process itself - you can only be compensated for the consequences of the discriminatory act, policy or practice.

    Even if the AJ rules in your favor, it's likely that the FAD (which must be generated after the AJ's decision) will conclude that the Postal Service did not discriminate. After all, what motivation would the Postal Service have to find against itself? Nevertheless, you need this absurd piece of paper (the FAD) to either appeal to the EEO Commission in Washington, D.C., or to take the matter to Federal District Court. The FAD becomes your evidence that, as a federal employee you have exhausted your administrative remedies (which surely have exhausted you).

    If you appeal to the EEO Commission, and your complaint has been adjudicated by an EEOC AJ, the Commission is not going to feel particularly motivated or compelled to look very closely at the issues raised in your complaint. After all, the EEOC defers to AJ's who have heard the testimony, reviewed the evidence, and ostensibly applied all of the relevant and applicable standards of law. Certainly you make your argument that the AJ erred in his/her decision, with regard to evidence in the record, credibility determinations, and application of law, but unless those errors essentially leap off the page and get the Commission's attention, deference is usually conferred on the AJ.

    Assuming the Commission rules against you; it's at least more than a year since the discriminatory act occurred; you've spent money, time, and (likely emotional) effort trying to persuade anyone that will listen that you've been unfairly treated and the victim of unlawful discrimination. And now your remaining choice is to go to Federal District Court. Is the adverse action that you filed your complaint about still relevant? Are witnesses still available? For that matter, can any of the witnesses remember what happened so long ago?

    The obvious cynicism and sarcasm about this process is directly related to the failure of this process to effectively recognize and/or deter discriminatory conduct. It's a system that inherently favors the employing agency and is insufficient to impose any meaningful consequences to the Postal Service.

    However, because it's the only process available to federal employees, there are some tactical considerations that employees should consider. Specifically, after you have engaged in discovery and had the opportunity to fully develop the record, you may want to consider withdrawing your request for a hearing, and instead ask for a Final Agency Decision.

    Why? For several reasons. First, and probably most importantly, in your appeal of the FAD you don't have to make any arguments to counter an AJ's findings. The EEOC is more likely to look more closely at a complaint where the Postal Service has declared that it did not discriminate against you (which they almost always say). There's no judge to have to give deference to - someone who is assumed to be non-biased. The Postal Service however, is not endowed with that expectation. When the AJ notes for the record that you have withdrawn your request for a hearing and have asked for an FAD, there's not usually much delay in returning the complaint file to NEEOISO. At that point, even the Postal Service Law Office doesn't usually pursue the complaint. So instead of the Postal Service attorney's arguments being considered and/or incorporated into the opinion of the FAD, it's all done by postal managers at NEEOISO. Your arguments presented on appeal, can now include detailed evidence obtained during discovery, including official Postal Service documents (policy letters, emails, etc.) written affidavits and/or transcripts of depositions. NEEOISO may not even be aware of this evidence when they write the FAD. Such an advantage just might provide the edge needed to convincingly persuade OFO that the articulated reasons provided by the Postal Service are pretextual and intended to masque, hide, or otherwise conceal discriminatory conduct or animus.

    Now you are left with a tactical decision to make. Should you take the chance that an AJ will issue a Summary Judgment decision; which would either prevent, or extensively delay your opportunity for a hearing, just so you can have your "day in court"? You might still get that day in court if OFO remands your appeal back to the original EEO Office for a hearing. If it's reassigned to the same AJ, do you think s/he would be inclined to embrace evidence that would show that their prior conclusions were erroneous?

    It may be that you have more than sufficient evidence where an AJ might have no other alternative but to find that discrimination occurred. Cases like that do still exist. But where the overwhelming majority of EEO complaints fall prey to Summary Judgment, a tactical method of avoiding it should be given serious consideration.

    Mr. J.R. Pritchett is an Administrative Law Representative with POSTAL EMPLOYEE ADVOCATES, who are not attorneys. The above article has been prepared for educational and informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or legal opinions and should not be construed as such. Readers should not act upon this information without first seeking professional legal counsel. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and not those of the Internet host or its sponsors. You may contact at
    postalemployeeadvocate@juno.com.

     

    GRIEVANCE-ARBITRATION

    PROCEDURE

    Section 1. Definition

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Miranda Warning & Miranda Rights

    Select another Link Category

    Miranda Warning

    The Miranda warning is a police warning that is given to criminal suspects in police custody in the United States before they are asked questions relating to the commission of crimes. Police may request biographical information such as name, date of birth and address without reading suspects their Miranda warnings. Compulsory confessions will not constitute admissible evidence unless suspects have been made aware of and waived their "Miranda rights".

    The Miranda warnings were mandated by the 1966 United States Supreme Court decision in the case of Miranda v. Arizona as a means of protecting a criminal suspect's Fifth Amendment right to avoid coercive self-incrimination (see right to silence). However, since its creation by the Warren Court, the Supreme Court has indicated that the Miranda decision imposes preventative safeguards rather than protections mandated by the Fifth Amendment privilege.

    Miranda rights

    The Supreme Court did not specify the exact wording to be used when informing a suspect of his or her rights. However, they did set down a set of guidelines which must be followed. The ruling states:

    ...The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he says will be used against him in court; he must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent him.

    As a result, American English has acquired the verb Mirandize, meaning to read to a suspect his or her Miranda rights (when that suspect is taken into custody for the purpose of   interrogation).

    Typical Miranda warning

    Though every U.S. jurisdiction has its own regulations regarding what, precisely, must be said to a person when they are arrested, the typical warning is as follows:

    You have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney and to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you at no cost. During any questioning, you may decide at any time to exercise these rights, not answer any questions, or make any statements.

    The courts have since ruled that the warning must be "meaningful", so it is usually required that the suspect be asked if he understands his rights. Sometimes, firm answers of "yes" are required. An arrestee's silence is not a waiver. Evidence has been ruled inadmissible because of an arrestee's poor knowledge of English and the failure of arresting officers to provide the warning in the arrestee's language.

    Also because of various education levels, officers must make sure the suspect understands what the officer is saying. It may be necessary to "translate" to the suspect's level of understanding. Courts have ruled this admissible as long as the original waiver is said and the "translation" is recorded either on paper or on tape.

    The right of a juvenile to remain silent without his or her parent or guardian present is provided in some jurisdictions.

     

    A grievance is defined as a dispute, difference, disagreement

    or complaint between the parties related to wages, hours, and

    conditions of employment. A grievance shall include, but is

    not limited to, the complaint of an employee or of the Union

    which involves the interpretation, application of, or

    compliance with the provisions of this Agreement or any

    local Memorandum of Understanding not in conflict with

    this Agreement.

    The USPS does not determine if you have a grievance or not, the union makes that decision. If you believe your contractual rights have been violated, you have an absolute right to talk to a union steward. Do not let management tell you otherwise!.

    You need to request a union steward, through your supervisor or postmaster and they are to contact the union. Once the union is made aware of the request, a meeting - via phone, Email or in person will be set up.

    If you make a request for union representation, and have not been contacted by the union - in a reasonable time frame - you need to make that request again, and also call a union official.

     

    A grievance is defined as a dispute, difference, disagreement

    or complaint between the parties related to wages, hours, and

    conditions of employment. A grievance shall include, but is

    not limited to, the complaint of an employee or of the Union

    which involves the interpretation, application of, or

    compliance with the provisions of this Agreement or any

    local Memorandum of Understanding not in conflict with

    this Agreement.

    The USPS does not determine if you have a grievance or not, the union makes that decision. If you believe your contractual rights have been violated, you have an absolute right to talk to a union steward. Do not let management tell you otherwise!.

    You need to request a union steward, through your supervisor or postmaster and they are to contact the union. Once the union is made aware of the request, a meeting - via phone, Email or in person will be set up.

    If you make a request for union representation, and have not been contacted by the union - in a reasonable time frame - you need to make that request again, and also call a union official.

     

    More rights


    Safety
    Jun 21, 2010

    Discipline on Safety - step 4

     Ergo (Univ of Iowa)

    Union Safety and Health

    Various Issues

     


    Veterans
    May 10, 2011

     

    Veterans Suicide Hotline - 24 hours a day!

    1-800-273-8255 - press "1" after being connected.

     

     AFL-CIO Vets

    AMVETS page

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service

    MSPB

    OPM Vets Guide

    USO

    Defense Prisoner of War MIssing Personnel

     

    VA Consumer Affairs: www.va.gov/customer/conaff.asp

    VA Benefits Online Application: www.vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp

    VA Health Benefits and Services: www.va.gov/vbs/health/

    VA Burial and Memorial Benefits: www.cem.va.gov/

    VA Education Benefits and Services: www.gibill.va.gov/

    VA Home Loan Guaranties: www.homeloans.va.gov/

    VA Forms: www.va.gov/forms/

    Board of Veteran's Appeals: www.va.gov/vbs/bva

    Department of Defense: www.defenselink.mil/

     Vets Info

     Disabled Veteran Outreach Representative - Iowa Workforce Development. Ted Hall,430 East Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA. 50309. 515-281-9629.Fax 515-281-9645. Theodore.hall@iwd.iowa.gov or www.iowaworkforce.org.

    About the VA

    After the Military Handbook 2010

    Americans with Disability Act

    Assistance for Homeless

    Article 12 Boston 1995

    Auto and special needs

    Automobile and special adaptive equipment grants

    Benefits 101 PP 2008

    Benefits for Vets and Dependants - VA

    Benefits for Vets and Dependants 2010

    Bosnia USERRA

    Disability Compensation

    Disabilty compensation for Sexual or personal trauma

    Discipline for Vets stay at VA - step 4

    Excessing - Burrus Letter

    Executive Order Special Leave for Disabled Vets

    Executive Order - Vet Pref

    Federal Benefits for Vets - Dependants and Survivors

    Former POW

    Healthcare Benefits 2010

    Home Modifications

    Light Duty MSPB

    Military Hiring Public Law 121

    Military Leave Act FMLA Q & A

    Military Service and Social Security

    Military, Sunday and COP pay

    MSPB and Light Duty

    MSPB and witnesses

    MSPB Case 2001

    Preference Eligible Q & A Burrus 2001

    Preference Eligible RIFF

    Preference Eligible Vets - Tampa

    Presumtive Disability

    Request Pertaining to Military Records

    Reservists Differential Pay

    Reservisits Differential Pay USPS letter 2/1/10

    Reservisits Opinion Differential Pay

    Reservists FMLA

    RIFF 1996 - Biller

    RIF MSPB 1995

    RIF MSPB Rights and Remedies

    RIF Reduction In Force (OPM page)

    Service Disability Insurance

    Service Disabled Veterans Insurance (C-DVI)

    Special Monthly Compensation

    USERRA

    Vets Benefits Timetable

    Vets Benefits

    Vets Benefits Time Table

    Vets Pref

     Vet Pref MOU

    Vet Guide OPM

    Vets Leave - step 4

    Vet Pref Article 6   2001

    Vet Pref Demotion - Guffey 2009

    Vets Pref Guffey 2009

    Vet Pref Q & A

    Vet Pref The Decisions

    Vet Readjustment

    Vietnam Vets

    Vocational Rehab

    Voc Rehab Benefits 5 Tracks to Employment

    Voc Rehab Benefits

    Voc Rehab Benefits Chapter 31

    VRA Hiring Vets

     

    FMLA Issues

    Military Leave FMLA Eligibility

    Service member notice

    Protection of Uninformed service member

    FMLA URISA for Narional Guard and Reservists

    Military Poster

     

     General Info

    Health benefits and Life Insurance - Military - USPS MI

     

     

    Questions About Veterans Preference

    (Excerpt from the November/December 2002 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

    The following are APWU responses to frequently asked questions about Veterans' Preference:

    Q: Can a preference eligible employee be excessed from a section or installation to an assignment at the same wage level?

    A: Yes.

    Q: Can a preference eligible employee be excessed from a section or installation to a lower-level assignment?

    A: No.

    Q: Can the preference eligible employee be skipped?

    A: No. Skipping the veteran would violate Article 12 and the craft seniority articles, and could not be done unless in accordance with an agreement made prior to November 2001. The excessing would have to stop.

    Q: After excessing or a reduction of employees is announced, what happens if a preference eligible employee volunteers to be reduced?

    A: Unless the preference eligible employee first was provided with an opportunity for a specific same-level job, the voluntary action would violate the RIF rules.

    Q: Can a preference eligible employee be excessed to unassigned status?

    A: Yes, but only within the same installation.

    Q: As an unassigned worker, can the preference eligible employee perform lower-level work?

    A: On occasion, yes. On a daily basis (temporarily), yes. There has been a Merit System Protection Board decision that permits putting an employee in a lower-level assignment on a temporary basis. We are now seeking a board decision on the definition of "temporary." We do not believe that this definition will include a situation in which a preference eligible employee remains unassigned for years, with no attempt to assign the employee to a same-level assignment.

    [back to top]

      

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Military Deposit Election Form
  • Estimated Earnings During Military Service
  • Application to Make Service Credit Payment (CSRS)
  • Application to Make Service Credit Payment (FERS

     

     Military Deposit Worksheet

    AFL-CIO Launches Union Veterans Council

     

    by Seth Michaels, Jul 10, 2008

      
      

    The AFL-CIO today is launching the Union Veterans Council, bringing together veterans and members of military families to hold our leaders accountable on the issues that matter most.

    The launch of the Union Veterans Council will help mobilize the more than 2.1 million union members who are veterans to get involved in the 2008 elections and fight for the health and education benefits they deserve. These veterans will speak out to advocate policies like a fully funded Veterans Affairs (VA) and the recently passed 21st Century GI Bill.

    The Union Veterans Council kicks off today in Dayton, Ohio. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will join Building and Construction Trades Department President Mark Ayres, a military veteran and chairman of the Union Veterans Council, in announcing the national effort.

    In addition to the Dayton event, union veterans are meeting at roundtable events in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Denver and Charleston, W. Va. Union veterans will launch their own state-level veterans councils and discuss plans to elect pro-working family leaders who will support veterans. Union veterans will take the lead in comparing the records of the presidential nominees, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

    The AFL-CIO also is launching a TV ad today featuring Jim Wasser, a Vietnam-era veteran and retired Electrical Workers (IBEW) member. In the ad, Wasser speaks about McCain, whose military service is honorable but whose Senate voting record hasn't supported veterans and their families. The ad will run in communities around the country hard-hit by the nation's economic crisis.

    In the ad, Wasser praises McCain's military service and discusses his concerns about McCain's political agenda.

    Every vet respects John McCain's war record. It's his record in the Senate that I have a problem with.

    Wasser says McCain supports continuing to spend billions in Iraq, yet he repeatedly voted against increased funding for veterans health care.

    People should let McCain know that his agenda is not what we need. Not now.

    Around the country, union veterans will be critical in electing a president and Congress that respect their service and look out for working families. The Union Veterans Council will make sure these veterans are educated and energized this fall.

     

    Military Estimates Earnings.

    If you would like to request estimate earnings during military service, here are some contact information:

    Army

    Attn: DFAS in JFJC-A, 8899 East 56th St. Indianapolis, IN 46249-0875. Phone 317-510-7298.

    Navy

    DFAS-Cleveland Center & FMCS, 1240 East 9th St. Cleveland, OH. 44199-2055. Phone 216-522-6545.

    Coast Guard

    Commanding Officer (S/R), Settlement and Records, Military P/P Center, 444 SE Quincy St., Topeka, KS. 66683.

    Airforce

    DFAS-DE-FJY, 6760 East Irvington Place, Denver, CO. 80279-7408. Phone 303-676-7408.

    Marines

    DFAS-Kansas City Center FBL, 1500 E 95th Center, Kansas City, MO. 64197-0001. Phone 816-926-7652.

    APWU Human Relations - Vets

     

    OPM Vets page

     

    Merit System Protetion Board (MSPB)

     

    National Vet Center 

     

     

    Iowa Vet Centers

    Cedar Rapids

    1642 42nd St. NE

    Cedar Rapids, IA. 52402

     

    Des Moines

    2600 Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy

    Des Moines, IA 50310

    515.284.4929

    515.277.4949 (fax)

     

     

    Quad Cities

    1529 46th Ave

    Moline, IL. 61265

     

    Sioux City

    1551 Indian Hills Drive

    Sioux City, IA 51104

     

     

    Buying Back Military Time
    Q: I served in the military and now work at the Postal Service. I heard that I can "buy back my military time" and have it counted towards my postal retirement. How can I do that, and should I do that?
    A:  In accordance with Public Law 97-253, employees covered under the Federal Employee's Retirement System (FERS) will receive credit for their Post-56 military service if a deposit is made under FERS. For FERS employees, the deposit is 3% of basic military pay. An interest-free grace period will extend for three years after the date of the career appointment. At the end of the three year grace period, interest will accrue on the unpaid balance. All military service must be honorable in order to complete a buy back.

    How to "buy back" your military time:

    1. Call the USPS HR Shared Service Center at 1-877-477-3273, Option 5. Tell the representative that you wish to buy back your military time.
    2. The USPS will send you a packet which includes a form for obtaining your estimated earnings during military service. Follow the instructions in the packet for obtaining your estimated earnings and also your DD 214 (Report of Separation). An official copy of your DD 214 must accompany your request for estimated earnings. The DD 214 must be a "Member 4" copy or one which contains character of service and time lost information. If you are unable to locate a copy of your DD 214, you will need to order an Undeleted copy at http://vetrecs.archives.gov or complete and mail the SF180 form enclosed in the packet. More info: How to obtain your DD 214.
    3. After obtaining your estimated earnings from the U.S. Military, send the completed forms back to the Postal Service's HR Shared Service Center. Use the return mailing label included in the packet.
    4. If you wish to make payment for your military service, you will need to complete Section 12, Election of Payment, on PS Form 2805, Military Deposit Worksheet and SF 3108, Application to Make Service Credit Payment (instructions and forms included in packet). You may make a lump sum payment by check or money order, installment payments ($50.00 minimum) also by check or money order, or payroll deductions (in $5.00 increments).
    5. When the deposit has been paid in full, your retirement computation date will be adjusted to include your military service.

    Should you buy back your military time?

    The choice of course is up to you, depending on the amount of deposit and time added to retirement. The general consensus is that if you retired from the military then you shouldn't buy back your military time and combine your military retirement and postal retirement. If you did not retire from the military (for example you served one or two enlistments like many people do) then the general consensus is that you should buy back your military time and have that time added to your postal retirement.

    Example

    PostalMag.com owner Tom Wakefield recently bought back his military time. Tom served in the military from August 1985 to January 1990 for a period of about 4 years and 5 months. (He extended his 4-year enlistment  by 5 months for an additional overseas tour.) Tom's basic military earnings for those 4 years and 5 months was $45,153.21. Based on these earnings, Tom's amount due for buying back his time was $1,354.60. However, Tom wasn't very smart and waited until 2008 to buy back his time, and $1,844.03 interest had accrued, making the total amount $3,198.63. Nevertheless, Tom decided that this amount was worth having 4 years and 5 months added to his postal retirement, and he sent a check for $3,198.63 to HR. Tom is very satisfied with his buy back. Instead of having 18 years of service in the Postal Service, having joined the USPS on June 2, 1990, Tom now has 22 years and 5 months counted towards his postal retirement, as of June 2, 2008.

    FAQ's on Military Leave

    FAQ regarding Military Leave

     

     

    I have an employee who has returned from active duty, but the orders state that the release date is not for several months. Is the employee eligible to use the five days of Administrative Leave (Code 079-67)?

    No, the employee can only request the Administrative Leave on a PS Form 3971 after the release date. The employee has a period of up to one year from the release date to use the granted leave.

     

    Why is Code 079 used for the 5-day Administrative Leave when the Hours Codes state that the code is for Veteran’s Funeral Leave?

    For administrative purposes, this code has been chosen. When inputting time for the Administrative Leave, please use Code 079 and a Reason Code of 67 to indicate this is the Military Administrative Leave.

     

    I input an employee for 40 hours of Military Leave and used Code 067, but the employee received 40 hours of LWOP. Why?

    If an employee has NEVER used Military Leave before, the local TACS office needs to be notified to advance the leave before it is taken.

     

    The employee has used all available Military Leave. Now can I deny the leave requests?

    No, the employee may still be eligible for Military LWOP, Code 044.

     

    Are Part-Time employees eligible for Military Leave?

    Part-time employees earn one hour of military leave for every 26 hours in a pay status during the previous year, provided the employee was in a pay status a minimum of 1,040 hours and the employee’s pay for military leave does not exceed 80 hours.

     

    How do I find out how much Military Leave an employee has available?

    This information is available in TACS in the Employee Maintenance Module under Leave Information, or you may contact your local TACS Office at the number listed below.

     

    Who is eligible for Military Leave?

    Career postal employees who belong to the following components of the armed forces, are eligible for paid military leave: The Army or Air National Guard, The Army or Air Force Reserve, The Naval or Marine Corps Reserve, or The Coast Guard Reserve.

     

    Casuals, Transitional Employees, Contract Workers, and Non-Career Rural Carriers are not eligible for paid military leave, but are permitted to be absent for military leave.

     

    What documentation is required for Military Leave?

    Request for or Notification of Absence, Form 3971, is required for absences to attend military activities

     

    Military Leave Control, Form 3973, is the official record of the amount of Military Leave used – these forms are retained for three years after the end of the pay period in which the leave was taken

     

    Military orders or properly endorsed documentation showing the duty was actually performed is required upon the employee’s return (ELM 517.34).

     

    For answers to any other questions regarding Military Leave, please call the TACS Office from 6am until 6pm at 515-278-7606.

     

     

    Cost-of-Living Increases Kick In for Disabled Vets

    Millions of veterans and eligible family members will get slightly larger disability compensation, pension and survivors’ benefits checks this month as part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) annual cost-of-living increases. Beneficiaries will receive a 2.3 percent increase in disability compensation and survivors’ benefits, starting with their January 2008 checks. Under the veterans’ disability compensation program, the tax-free payments generally will range from $117 to $2,527 per month depending on the extent of disability. The most severely injured vets will receive special monthly payments of up to $7,232, VA said. Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake said the increase assures that payments to disabled vets will “keep pace with today’s cost of living.” To see more, go to: www.va.gov.

     
     
     

    House Passes Veterans Legislation

    The House last week passed a package of bills to benefit veterans, including a measure to develop and implement a comprehensive program designed to reduce the incidence of suicide among former servicemembers. H.R. 327, the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, would establish a veterans’ suicide prevention program at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., said on Oct. 23.  H.R. 327 has already been approved in the Senate and is to be sent to President Bush for his signature, Filner said. The president is expected to sign it. “One of the most pressing issues facing our returning service men and women is mental health care, and I believe that H.R. 327 provides help to those in need,” said Filner, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. “If we send our men and women off to war, we must, as a nation, do all we can to address their health care needs when they return.” To see more, go to: http://veterans.house.gov/news/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=150.

     
     
    Reservists eligible for back pay from Postal Service, MSPB rules
    March 29, 2007
    As many as 100,000 military reservists who worked at the U.S. Postal Service between 1980 and 2000 could be eligible for thousands of dollars in compensation because they were improperly charged for their military leave, under a new ruling.
    The Merit Systems Protection Board decision greatly expands the scope of a larger back pay issue that ultimately could cost the government half a billion dollars, said Matthew Tully (http://www.fedattorney.com), a New York attorney who is representing affected employees for free.
    Previous rulings have held that between 150,000 and 200,000 reserve or National Guard members who worked for executive branch agencies between 1980 and 2000 are eligible for back pay because of an erroneous leave policy. In a March 7 ruling, Miller v. U.S. Postal Service, MSPB said reservists who worked at the Postal Service also are covered because that agency used the same policy.
    Outside the Defense Department, the Postal Service is the largest single employer of Guard and reserve members, Tully said. He said complying with the decision could cost the Postal Service upwards of $200 million.

     
    “They’re probably going to have to jack up the price of stamps 3 or 4 cents just to pay for the outcome of this decision,” Tully said.
    The Postal Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    The Postal Service could appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, although that court in 2003 issued the landmark decision that employees were entitled to back pay because federal agencies improperly charged reservists who were on military leave for days they were not scheduled to work. Subsequent decisions by MSPB expanding the scope of the appeals court ruling have not been challenged.
    The policy, which was changed in 2000, had charged reservists for every calendar day they were on military leave, instead of charging them for the actual work days they missed. Reservists who used up their military leave because they were charged for weekends or other days they weren’t scheduled to work instead had to use their own vacation days or take leave without pay to complete their annual military training.
    The court decisions require agencies to restore annual leave to current employees or provide back pay to retired workers to make up for the lost compensation or leave that employees incurred because of the policy.
    Tully said the average back payment has totaled $3,500, although employees have received anywhere from $400 to $14,000 depending on how long they were in the reserves and their pay grade.

    Reservists who believe they are owed back pay must file their case with MSPB.

     

    Veterans' Resources

    The men and women of the armed forces have served each of us through military service to our country. The liberties we enjoy today have been won through their sacrifice. Many of our APWU brothers and sisters have served or are currently serving, and we have an obligation to support them.

    In an effort to provide additional assistance and to keep our members informed about issues that affect them, the Human Relations Department has created a Veterans' Assistance and Resource Committee. The committee has been tasked to provide updates, training resources, information, understanding and guidance. Inquiries should be directed through APWU local and state organizations to the Human Relations Department. (Please note that the committee does not have the authority to address contractual issues.)

     

    Leave Adjustments and Back
    Pay for Reservists and Guard

    Veterans and Agent Orange

    Links

    The organizations listed below provide a wealth of resources to veterans on a variety of concerns.

    The American Legion is a patriotic, mutual-help organization that provides community service and assistance to all veterans who served at a time when our nation was at war.

    Department of Veterans Affairs (known as the VA) provides information on veterans’ issues, particularly on benefits: compensation and pension, education, vocational rehabilitation, home loans, and more. The agency offers special programs for homeless, minority, and female veterans. Applications for benefits are available online.

    Disabled American Veterans provides assistance to veterans who were disabled during time of war or armed conflict. DAV is dedicated to a single purpose: To build better lives for America’s disabled veterans and their families. Their Web site offers a legislative program and volunteer opportunities.

    Military.com connects U.S. Service Members, military families and veterans to all the benefits of service.

    The Military Order of the Purple Heart is a congressionally chartered veterans’ organization exclusively for veterans wounded in combat. It publishes “Issues Affecting Veterans Today” and offers help with VA claims and military records requests.

    The National Gulf War Resource Center is an international coalition providing information, support, and referrals for people concerned with the complexities of Persian Gulf War issues, especially Gulf War illnesses and service members held prisoner or missing in action.

    The Paralyzed Veterans of America is a congressionally chartered veterans’ service organization that has developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of veterans who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction.

    Sons and Daughters In Touch help locate, unite and provide support to family members of those who died or remain missing as a result of the Vietnam War, and support to those who have experienced similar loss.

    USO’s mission (United Service Organizations) is to provide morale-boosting, welfare, and recreational services to uniformed military personnel and their families.

    Veterans of Foreign Wars assist our veterans and provide community service through programs and special projects that include citizenship education, youth development, and military assistance. The VFW offers news and informational resources, and its National Legislative Service office closely monitors legislation affecting veterans.

    Vietnam Veterans of America is an organization dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families. VVA provides a listing of service representatives by state as well as VVA Guides, which include: Agent Orange, VA Claims and Appeals, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and VVA’s Guide to Veterans Preference. The organization also has a Government Relations page, which includes a Legislative Action Center and a locator page designed to help veterans find fellow service members.

     

     

     

    Support Our Troops

    Thousands of US Troops have been deployed around the world in the fight against terrorism. They serve in dangerous conditions, away from the comforts of home that we often take for granted. Due to heightened security, individuals cannot express their gratitude by letters or through packages to “Any Service Member.” [printable PDF.]

    To help support our troops, the APWU Human Relations Department has developed several programs in cooperation with the USO, the Fisher House Foundation, Malogne House, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center. These APWU programs will only be possible through your generosity. Your participation in our Support Our Troops programs will serve as a reminder that you have not forgotten their sacrifice.

    Care Packages

    Care packages provide warm messages and familiarities from home. Packages will be sent (through the USO) to servicemen and women serving in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Recipients will include all military branches and be from anywhere in the US. We will also be forwarding care packages to APWU members or their loved ones who have been deployed overseas (when we have their military mailing address). Additionally we will be delivering your packages to severely injured service members who have returned stateside but require a long-term stay in a medical facility in order to undergo rehabilitation and physical.

    To be in compliance with the law and security measures it is important to follow the “Wish List” procedures. Care packages will be opened and inspected before they are forwarded. Please mark your package clearly if it is intended to be gender specific. Do not send packages directly to the organizations we have coordinated with; they will not be accepted.

    Personal Messages

    You can download and print the APWU Supports Our Troops postcard to accompany your care package. For security reasons, personal messages cannot be enclosed in an envelope or sealed in any way. Messages that contain negative remarks will not be forwarded.

    Gratitude Dinners

    Gratitude Dinners provide a much needed, much deserved night out for severely injured troops recovering at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, National Naval Medical Center, the Fisher House or the Malogne House. The dinners provide these courageous men and women with an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company away from the confines of the hospital, where some will remain for over a year.

    The dinners are hosted on Friday night at a steakhouse in Washington, DC. Usually about sixty troops are in attendance. If you would like to show your appreciation, make your donation payable to APWU Gratitude Dinners.

    Operation Teddy Care

    There’s probably nothing harder for a small child than being separated from a parent and there’s nothing as comforting as a soft cuddly teddy bear. Children of US Troops make a significant sacrifice that often is never acknowledged. Let them know you understand and you care. Donate a new stuffed animal or toy. They will be distributed at military family centers prior to a deployment or to children visiting their parent at a military medical facility along with an APWU certificate of appreciation for being brave and helpful while their parent is serving in the line of duty for the United States of America. It’s a great way to introduce children to unions.

    Families Too

    In our visits to medical facilities we have met a lot of family members, mostly young wives, but there are also husbands, moms, dads, brothers and sisters. All there to stand vigil and to provide support while their loved one endures their struggles of recovery. We witnessed the toll that the long days and long nights take on the families. Family members hope never to be in these circumstances, yet find they are grateful for life. You can see the strain on their faces and hear it in their voices. Their sacrifices are also great. When we say we support our troops that means we support their families too. APWU Human Relations Department would like to sponsor special events at the medical facilities to give family members a brief moment to reenergize: books, luncheons, manicures, relaxation workshops, afternoon teas. Whatever we can do to help get them through and let them know we care.

    If you have questions, please call the APWU Human Relations Department at 202-842-4271. All care package items, stuffed animals, toys and books must be new. All monetary donations should be made payable to APWU (Supports Our Troops) — indicate in the memo which program you are contributing to. Donations received that do not identify a specific program will be expended at the discretion of the Human Relations Director. All donors will be acknowledged to recipient(s) when receiving the gift or when attending an event. Contact information will be disclosed, when provided unless the donor indicates otherwise. All donated items, monetary contributions, information and photos should be sent to:

    APWU Human Relations Department
    1300 L Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20005

     

     

    U.S. Postal Service
    The U.S. Postal Service is among the largest employers of veterans  in the Nation, second only to the Department of Defense. During FY 2007, the Postal Service employed 684,564 individuals. This was a decrease of 11,326 employees from the 695,890 employed during FY 2006 (Table 13).

    There were 170,851 veterans employed in the Postal Service during FY 2007. This is a decrease of 8,497 veterans from the 179,348 employed during FY 2006. The 59,114 disabled veterans represented 8.6 percent of the Postal Service’s career workforce as compared to 8.8 percent (61,482) during FY 2006.

    The representation of disabled veterans in the Postal Service showed a decline of 2,368 disabled veterans (Table 13). Additionally, the Postal Service’s representation of 30 percent or more disabled veterans declined by 332 from 16,823 in FY 2006 to 16,491 in FY 2007.

    In FY 2007, there were 25,681 total promotions made within the Postal Service. Veterans received 6,017, or 23.4 percent, of the total promotions. Disabled veterans received 2,351, or 9.2 percent, of the total employee promotions during FY 2007. As a subset, veterans with a 30 percent or more disability rating employed in the Postal Service received 734, or 2.9 percent, of the total promotions during FY 2007.

     

    Employment of Veterans in the U.S. Postal Service

    FY 2003 – FY 2007

    Employee Category

    FY 2003

    FY 2004

    FY 2005

    FY 2006

    FY 2007

    Total Workforce

    729,646

    706,414

    704,203

    695,890

    684,564

    Total Veterans

    210,887

    196,173

    187,144

    179,348

    170,851

    % of Total

    28.9%

    27.8%

    26.6%

    25.8%

    25.0%

    Disabled Veterans

    70,053

    65,956

    63,456

    61,482

    59,114

    % of Total

    9.6%

    9.3%

    9.0%

    8.8%

    8.6%

    % of Veterans

    33.2%

    33.6%

    33.9%

    34.3%

    34.6%

    30%+ Disabled Veterans

    17,839

    17,110

    16,859

    16,823

    16,491

    % of Total

    2.4%

    2.4%

    2.4%

    2.4%

    2.4%

    % of Veterans

    8.5%

    8.7%

    9.0%

    9.4%

    9.7%

    % of Disabled Veterans

    25.5%

    25.9%

    26.5%

    27.4%

    27.9%

    Source: United States Postal Service via Office Of Personnel Management's Report on Veterans in Federal Government

    November 23, 2008
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     




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