Like other federal employees, people who work for the United States Postal Office have the option to fight unfair treatment.
For example, an employee who faces a disciplinary action at work may have a number of options for an appeal. These appeals can protect an employee’s job in serious cases.
Even in more minor situations, it may still be important to appeal if only to protect one’s professional reputation and chances for better opportunities.
Some USPS employees may have the option to use an internal grievance system
Postal employees who are not unionized, that is, a party to a collective bargaining agreement, may be able to use an internal grievance system within the USPS.
Not every employee is eligible to use this system. For instance, higher level managers are not able to use this system. Those who are able can appeal disciplinary actions, including suspensions and official warnings, by asking for a hearing.
This hearing is no mere formality. It involves witnesses who have to give evidence at a recorded proceeding. At the end of it, the person hearing the matter will make a decision whether to uphold or change the discipline.
Employees may also be able to appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board
Postal employees may also appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board, or MSPB, which serves as a reviewing agency over major disciplinary actions. Major disciplinary actions include termination, demotion or a suspension of more than 2 weeks.
An employee who appeals to MSPB will have to have a hearing before an administrative law judge where he or she can present evidence in support of his or her position.
If the employee is not happy with the decision, then he or she can ask for the entire Board to review the matter and, ultimately, can appeal to the federal courts.
Other options may be available to Postal employees
Depending on the circumstances, employees for the USPS may have other options, including the filing of a discrimination or retaliation complaint, if they are facing an adverse action at work. They should consider discussing these options with an experienced attorney.