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Chapter 12, Section 5: Workplace Policies

The USPS has varied policies for its employees that are unique among federal agencies.

Debt Collection

For non-bargaining unit employees who owe money to USPS, the Postal Service generally may withhold a maximum of 15 percent of an employee's disposable pay each pay period, after providing the employee with certain due process rights. If, however, a federal court has granted judgment upholding the debt, up to 25 percent of the employee's current pay may be withheld each pay period.

For bargaining unit employees who owe money to the USPS, generally up to 15 percent of an employee's disposable pay may be deducted in monthly installments or at "officially established pay intervals." A greater percentage may be deducted with the written consent of the worker. Bargaining unit employees can initiate a grievance concerning a debt.

Employee Claims

It is Postal Service policy to reimburse employees for loss or damage to personal property when the property is damaged in their employment while they are on duty or on postal property. Non-bargaining unit employees should file Form 2146, Employee's Claim for Personal Property, within 90 days of the loss. The Postal Service also will accept any written documentation within the prescribed time limit if it contains substantiating information.

Depending on where employees work, the claim should be filed at the field office, area office, headquarters or with the deputy chief inspector of administration for inspection service personnel. If the claim is denied it can be appealed.

Bargaining unit employees are covered by their collective bargaining agreement.

Workers' Compensation

The Postal Service is self-insured for workers' compensation costs under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (see Chapter 5, Section 4). The Postal Service works with the Department of Labor, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs to place injured employees who cannot be accommodated within the Postal Service into private sector employment.

Training Centers

The Postal Service operates two national training and development centers:

William F. Bolger Center for Leadership Development, 9600 Newbridge Dr., Potomac, MD 20854-4436; (301) 983-7980; fax (301) 983-7149.

National Center for Employee Development, 2701 E. Imhoff Rd., Norman, OK 73071-1198; (405) 366-4302; fax (405) 366-4309.

Adverse Action and EEO Complaints

Postal employees who are represented by a union generally are entitled to file a grievance over adverse management decisions or actions under the grievance-arbitration procedure specified in their collective bargaining agreement.

Certain postal employees may have additional (or alternative) rights to file an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board (see Chapter 10, Section 3) if they are affected by adverse personnel decisions or actions, such as a removal or suspension that exceeds 14 days. To be eligible for MSPB appeal rights, postal workers generally must have served with USPS for at least one year and fall into one of three categories: (1) managers and supervisors, (2) employees engaged in personnel work (except those in non-confidential clerical positions), or (3) employees with veterans' preference eligibility. Bargaining unit workers who have MSPB appeal rights generally must choose between the Board's process and the contractual grievance procedure; in some cases, they have the right to submit their dispute to both channels.

All postal employees are covered by the complaint processes established under the rules of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (see Chapter 10, Section 2). Bargaining unit employees are entitled to pursue their discrimination complaints through the EEOC process, as well as the contractual grievance procedure, although action on the EEO complaint may be deferred pending resolution of the grievance process.

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