To All Postal Employees: It’s Time to Start Sending Time Thieves to Jail and Get the Unions Off their Butts

To All Postal Employees:
It’s Time to Start Sending Time Thieves to Jail – and Get the Unions Off their Butts

Don’t laugh. Standing up for justice is no laughing matter. A federal statute regarding time fraud is on the books, and it’s clear. It’s a federal crime, and the time has come to see to it that adherence to that statute is not ignored. 18 U.S.C. § 1001 reads as follows:

“Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully – (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.”

I’ve quoted that law so many times in this series that you should know it by heart, but the reason that no one has been sent to jail, or at the very least, fired, under that statute is because the unions have been twiddling their thumbs in the administrative process instead of using the clout of the membership’s numbers to flex their political muscle. TIME FRAUD IS NOT A GRIEVANCE. IT’S A FEDERAL CRIME.

Filing grievances and EEOs play right into the PO’s hands. The administrative process takes forever, and justice delayed is justice denied. The system is stacked against the grievant and/or complainant. It’s designed to make you think you have rights, while its actual function is to maintain the status quo – that’s why you’re paying thousands of dollars in union dues and you’re still suffering. Have you ever wondered why an employee can pick up a Walmart coupon out of the trash and be summarily fired, while your manager can be caught falsifying thousands of dollars of employee clock rings then be promoted? Wake up.

If you want justice, and for your job to be secure, you’re going to have to make sure that the jobs of your boss, your union officers, and your politicians are insecure. You’re going to have to shine a bright enough light on laziness, complacence, and corruption to place THEIR jobs in jeopardy.

Again, time fraud and falsifying government documents is a federal crime punishable by five years in federal prison. Yet, in spite of that fact, and the fact that the United States Postal Service is stealing millions of dollars PER DAY from its employees, you’re not seeing anyone go to jail, or even fired, for that matter. In fact, one acting CSO in the Los Angeles District was even promoted while an allegation of time fraud is pending against him. The reason for that is your unions have been less than aggressive in pursuing your rights. They’ve been satisfied to get one or two people paid a year (just enough to look good on their resume), then letting the PO sweep the matter under the rug. One officer even told the grievant that she’d have to pursue the matter through the EEOC and refused to return her calls.

As egregious as that sounds, I’m sure that most of you know that it’s not an unsubstantiated claim – you’re living the consequences of that kind of reckless complacence on the part of SOME union officials on a daily basis. It is this kind of complacence that has made time fraud and many other abuses such a severe problem within the agency. The postal service knows that the unions are ineffective, so they feel free to rob, abuse, and intimidate you with impunity. I know I’m being kind of hard on the unions, but before a problem can be corrected it must be faced in an honest and forthright manner.

What’s so unconscionable about this particular situation is it can be so easily addressed. A thief needs the cover of darkness to commit his crimes, so all the unions have to do is shine a light on what’s going on within the shadows of the postal service. Why haven’t they done that? I won’t speculate on that issue at this time; I’ll leave it for the membership to decide – but decide you must – and in a hurry, because not only is your hard earned money disappearing, so are your jobs.

The OIG has been ignoring the issue of time fraud for years now, but after the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Black Star News, Veterans Today, and the Postal Employee Network started shining a light on this criminal conduct back in March (, then continued hammering away at it and demanding that the OIG and PMG be fired, all of a sudden the OIG recognized the need for a national audit.

But back in February, in the Los Angeles district, when JoAnn Snow’s time was stolen, OIG Special Agent Reid Robbins said “the OIG’s office generally doesn’t investigate time issues.” Well, now they’ve reconsidered that position. But the question is, why ddn’t the unions do years go what these publications have managed to do in six months? That’s something that the membership needs to consider. At this point, however, it’s going to be very interesting to see just how much effort the unions put into organizing their membership to take advantage of this opportunity to correct this criminal conduct once and for all.


Having Problems with Your Time and Attendance Records? The OIG Wants to Hear From You.

Recent news stories have identified a few instances where Postal Service employees have had time deleted from electronic time card records. There have also been other time and attendance instances where managers inaccurately calculated employee work hours for out–of-schedule work.

If you are a Postal Service employee and are experiencing similar problems or any other time and attendance issues at your work place, we would like to hear from you. Please take our brief survey or provide comments below.

This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Human Resources and Security audit team.

Eric L. Wattree

12 Responses to "To All Postal Employees: It’s Time to Start Sending Time Thieves to Jail and Get the Unions Off their Butts"

  1. L. Lober   September 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    I reported time theft at my last office and it was all for nothing, I called the whistle blower hotline and nothing happend, nothing changed. I talked to the Postmaster and the MP00 several times and nothing changed, I emailed the PMG and still nothing changed. Several carriers were stealing hours daily. Some would (and probably still are) taking 2-3 hour lunch breaks, some would return from the street hours before EOT without clocking into the office so their clock entrees would show they were still out on their routes when in reality they were all done for the day, then they would finally clock in about 10 minutes before EOT. Some would just go home hours early and have one of their friends clock them out at EOT. I figured bare minimum the station manager would be demoted or pehaps fired which he deserved as well as delivery supervisor. The postmaster is now retired but both cooked station manager and delivery supervisor are still there. There is much more I can reveal and I have a stack of statements and other carriers might perhaps come foward if they thought something good might come from it. I launched investigations by both the OIG and the MPOO and nothing happend, all I did was blow the whistle on myself.

  2. Eric Wattree   September 4, 2010 at 6:32 am

    It sounds like you were trying to blow the whistle on management’s cronies. They’re not going to touch those people. Those are the people with the short routes that they used to say, “See, if Ralph can do it so can you.” They’re not going to launch an investigation against good ole Ralph, it would reveal how much time they’re stealing from the other 98% of the employees with real routes.

  3. Mark Hennessy   September 9, 2010 at 6:36 am

    It all starts with the employee. They must make the case by providing the info to start their complaint to management or the union,
    So far the comments seem to to center on employees not mangement who are doing the falseification of time records. The unions have addressed this issue throughout the years successfully on whatever case basis that have been presented. But as stated, it starts with the employee.
    I am sure many instances have been initiated and successfully corrected though the years, they just are not being headlined as your article implies.

  4. Chris S   September 9, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    We have no problem catching these time thieves. But employees need to do their part and bring it to the union’s attention.

  5. Roberta A   September 12, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Each year our Local asks for TACS 800R6 and it shows deleted times. We filed the grievance (2009) and ask for penalty pay. We then send to the OIG…We get the money and silence from the OIG.

  6. Howard Waddell   September 20, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Our for Time and Attendance clerk stated every payday the amount of adjustments that had to be made from the employees catching these errors. Our local tries to emphasize the importance of checking your pay. Management counts on those employees , which is the majority, that never check their buff cards. It is time for creditable and accountable pay records be kept.

  7. fred   September 22, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    look in stockton

  8. Cliff Barker   September 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Well, looky here could we not clear the not only the postal deficit but the national one if those at the wheel would just do what this is telling them to — or are they the ones in violation?

  9. Cliff Barker   September 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Is or has anyone in this postion tried looking at the amount of management that is in the Post Office? Can anyone in the PRC tell me (1) if they have (2) what if anything they are going to do about it . I applaude Sen. Collins for standing up but really has she or anyone on the PRC talked to a craft employee of their opinion?

  10. TJ Rover   October 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    On a related subject, I knew a MVS driver who worked Tour 1. On the weekend when there was a time change he would not clock in. Instead he would use a manual time card (1260). He would record 8 hrs. on his card, but he would only work 7hrs. I told our union steward and I didn’t hear anything else about it. I didn’ t want to go to mangement because then word would get around that I was a snitch.

  11. kimberly Higdon   November 11, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I am a 30 hour nfty flex and I have not received out of schedule pay for 3 months. Also have seen supervisors end tour of carriers still out on their routes. Clock rings dont add up.

  12. Tonia R Gray Njuguna   October 21, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Someone tampered with my time card and it was missing. Manager on tour told me to use a 1260 card. Two days later I was being investigated because I was told I entered 2100 as my BT, which it should have been 21:04.

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