EEOC rules that USPS discriminated against injured workers

The U.S. Postal Service used a program designed to help employees return to work after an injury to instead rid the agency of those who required special work accommodations, Government Executive reports.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in favor of a former postal employee’s class action lawsuit alleging that USPS subjected employees to a “pattern and practice” of discrimination under its National Reassessment Program by removing employees under the program claiming that their post-disability assignments were too extraneous or that no special work assignments were available to meet their needs, according to the report.

EEOC found that under the program — in place between 2006 and 2011— 15,000 employees were given new assignments and 10,000 were notified that there was no new assignment available for them, and more than 100,000 employees either recovered and returned to their pre-injury positions or left the agency while the program was in place, the report notes, adding that USPS will have to make a payout to as many as 130,000 current and former employees as part of a class-action lawsuit.

Reader comments

Sat, Oct 20, 2018 vickie illinois

looking for some help or info. Husband injured as a casual letter carrier in 1989. A chained up dog with its voice box removed charged towards husband. Husband starts running backwards and trips over a railroad tie laying in the yard. Destroyed his ACL. Postal wanted him at work the next day. Instead surgery was scheduled and knee repair completed. After 6 months PO rehires him for a 6 month stint..and then lets him go...rehires him for another 6 month stint. Meanwhile..PO denies his injury. Over the next couple of years DOL makes PO pay for a 2 yr degree since evidence proved he could no longer complete the requirements of a letter carrier. PO did not want to offer him a position he could do at that time. He goes thru Voc Rehab PO pays for 2 yr degree...but we have to pay for the first 6 months to get him up to par. He was 45 yrs old. He has several more surgeries and procedures over the years. I finally won his claim after 19 years by proving he could have worked a 40 hr work week. DOL creates a fake job..based on the pay of a computer systems employee. It was not the amount of pay he was receiving at his "full" time job as a Nuclear Security officer. DOL pays him the difference. He was working as a letter carrier to fill the gap as the Security officers had gone on strike. He was unable to find a job as a computer accepts any job..which is security at a hospital. While there...his left knee is replaced and he is medically terminated becoz his doctor would not release him to return to that job. The hospital would not offer a modified position. So, he has not worked for 6 years. So now here we are and he is 72. OWCP has sent him a letter recently stating he is to have a medical exam and return to the PO as a letter carrier...or into a modified job..stating that OWCP is not a retirement plan. I am not sure where to find any specific info on how to handle this situation. From my 19 years fighting for his benefits, there isn't any trust. I would deeply appreciate any guidance or advice on this matter..I apologize for the length of the post. I thought about just writing 72 yr old man to old to be a letter carrier...but thought it sounded a bit off the wall. Thanks for your help Vickie

Wed, Aug 15, 2018 Houston, TX

My daughter was injured at the postal sorting center, in front of her supervisor. Completed every form and process to be denied. Finally a modified job was given to her but her supervisor demanded she return to the sorting center where there are no jobs. Sad to see this is not a one off but glad to see there is precedent for an EEOC claim. After 12 months she has virtually lost everything while receiving the runaround. Any tips are appreciated.

Sat, Aug 11, 2018 Ch Oklahoma City ok P&DC

Mail handlers were allowed to use equipment that was damaged. Red tags were ripped off and during my tour Nov. 8,2015 I was injured by a unrepaired 2 prong pallet jack. Management neglected the safety of workers by continuing to use damaged equipment on the work room floor. It took me three and a half years before I got my back surgery. Managers and supervisors would harrass and try to intimidate me by trying to give me medical advice without having any knowledge of what they were doing or saying.

Wed, Jul 11, 2018 Leroy America

Disgusting what the USPS has been allowed to its injured work force. They know full well that they are using upright human beings as pack mules for a minimum of thirty years before they can retire. The USPS unchecked methods of manipulating, threatening, and abusing injured workers and their doctors are criminal in the least. Pray that they pay out in the billions during the next round of unavoidable law suits.

Thu, May 17, 2018 Karen Braziet Alturas Ca

I am a Postmaste who worked my way up for washing LLV's, casual, clerl/carrier, PM. I back my employees 100% and hold hostile mngment at bay. I became ill, went out on leave and now am facing NO job as a reward for 35 yes of loyalty and great service. I am filing congressionally as I have no other choice.I wish all employees who see, know and experience the daily horrors would stand up and make your voices heard. Demand justice for the victims and severe punishment for the abusers.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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