Time is running out for postal employees involved in the Walker Class-Action lawsuit to return questionnaires they recently received from the Postal Service. The class-action complaint alleges the USPS discriminated against the employees on the basis of disability; the questionnaire [PDF] is about damages the employees may have suffered.
An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Administrative Judge ordered the Postal Service to send the questionnaire to all members of the class. The questionnaires must be mailed by Dec. 15, 2011, to the USPS National EEO Investigative Services Office in Tampa, at the address below:
P.O. Box 25558
Tampa, Florida 33622-5558
The counsel for the class is not involved in the process, but advised APWU Human Relations Director Sue Carney that the questionnaires will help determine a potential settlement if the commission finds discrimination occurred.
Employees cannot be hurt by completing the form, nor will they be removed from the class if they fail to return the questionnaire. Counsel additionally stated it is acceptable for employees to indicate that they do not know an answer, that their answer is an estimate, or their answer is based on their best recollection.
The order to distribute the questionnaire was issued prior to a decision being rendered on the complaint itself — that decision is still pending and will determine whether present or past postal employees who are disabled within the meaning of the Rehabilitation Act and who were assigned a permanent rehabilitation position anytime from March 24, 2000, to the present were discriminated against based on their disability and permanent rehabilitation status when the Postal Service restricted their duty hours.
About the Case
On May 5, 2000, Edmond Walker, a temporary Rural Carrier Relief, filed an individual discrimination complaint against the USPS, claiming that the Postal Service discriminated against him on the basis of his disabilities and permanent rehabilitation status when his duty hours were restricted to 14 hours per week and he was denied the opportunity to work overtime. On Aug. 19, 2005, the EEOC certified Walker’s complaint as a class action after he alleged discriminatory acts had been continuing for a class of disabled permanent rehabilitation employees working for the Postal Service.
The USPS appealed the decision, arguing the certified class was poorly defined and the class members were unidentifiable. The commission disagreed and affirmed the decision on March 18, 2008, ordering the Postal Service to process the class complaint within 30 days. Individuals with disabilities in permanent rehabilitation positions who had their duty hours restricted beginning March 24, 2000, were certified as the class. Approximately 40,000 employees have been identified by the Postal Service as class members.
For purposes of this litigation, the following class definitions apply:
The phrase “permanent rehabilitation employee” includes any rehabilitation program employee whose Postal Service employment records reflect an employee status code of LDC 69 and/or employee status code of RC (reinstatement of compensation for current employees) and/or RD (reinstatement of compensation for former employees) Note: RC/ RD can be found on line 29 of PS Form 50. .
The phrase “duty hours…restricted” includes: (1) restrictions limiting the number of hours generally worked; and (2) restrictions which allegedly resulted in the denial of overtime.
The term “disability” means, with respect to each individual: (1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual; (2) a record of such impairment; or (3) being regarded as having such impairment. 29 C.R.F. §1630.2(g)(1)-(3).
If you meet the criteria to be a potential member of the class, you are not required to do anything in order to remain a class member. The case will determine the legal rights for class members. The commission does not allow class members to “opt out.” A final decision finding discrimination would be binding on all members of the class and on the Postal Service. A finding of “no discrimination” would not be binding on a class member’s individual complaint.
In the event that liability is found, you will receive another notice on how and when to file such a claim. Any class member will have the right to object to or challenge any proposed settlement of the case. Class members also may participate in any determination of individual relief if discrimination is found.
The following are the representatives of record for this class complaint:
John Mosby, Esq.
Marilyn Cain Gordon, Esq.
Elisa J. Moran, Esq.
John W. Davis, Esq.
621 17th Street, Suite 1035
Denver, Co 80293
Members can obtain additional information about the case from Class Counsel by calling their Walker Class Action General Mailbox (800) 280-8301. Questions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to (303) 927-3860.
APWU members should note that the law prohibits discrimination, retaliation, threats, interference, intimidation and/or coercion against individuals who participate, testify, assist and/or are involved in the presentation or processing of this class complaint.
Edmund Walker Et Al., Complainants v. Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General, United States Postal Service Respondent; Agency Case No. 4E-800-0240-02, EEOC Case Nos. 320-A2-8390X; filed on August 19, 2002