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The USPS Outplacement Pilot Initiative
Hello Brothers and Sisters! The USPS in 2004 began a pilot program withdrawing limited duty jobs that were offered to partially recovered employees that were injured in the line of duty. They were then placed into an LWOP status (resulting in wage-loss compensation and benefits from OWCP) with the idea that OWCP would provide vocational rehabilitation services, including finding jobs for the employees outside of the Postal Service. The USPS prior to this “initiative” had made every effort to find limited-duty work for partially recovered compensable injured employees.
The USPS has authority to make an initial decision as to whether limited-duty work is available within an employee’s medical restrictions; however, they have no authority to “outplace” any employee.
The Federal Employee’s Compensation Act requires employing agencies to make “every effort” to provide suitable work to the injured employee. It also requires that partially recovered employees seek and accept suitable limited duty assignments.
In the ELM, section 540 and the EL-505, the injury compensation handbook, requires that the USPS should minimize any adverse effect on partially recovered injured employees when assigning them suitable limited duty assignments.
OWCP decides whether to provide vocational rehabilitation services that may involve outplacement assistance, and they are the sole authority on this issue. The USPS has no say in this decision. This “outplacing of employees” is not in the jurisdiction of the USPS, and as an employing agency they cannot make this decision.
Article 13 of the National Agreement covers light and limited duty work and the obligations of the USPS within the context of our contract. The Federal Employee’s Compensation Act regulations cover the employee in regards to what an employer obligations are to an injured employee on a federal scope.
No pilot program that postal management
administrators who sit on their brains can
supercede or waive any of the obligations set
forth by the Contract and FECA. If , as an
injured employee, you should become affected by
any action of management concerning your limited
duty assignment, especially any failure to
provide limited duty work when work is actually
available, you should contact your steward
immediately to file a grievance.
As we all know management is not your friend and now they are trying to go after the very workers who were injured while working for them! Can you expect any less from the company who tries to fire you as soon as they hire you?
And they wonder why I trust a used car salesman before I trust a supervisor!
Remember…BE INFORMED!…BE PROFESSIONAL!…BE UNION!
Denny Belden Aka: VetCarrier