A summary of benefits provided to employees of the U.S. Postal Service.
Annual Leave is provided to employees for paid time off from regularly scheduled work hours. The charts below show how much annual leave is accrued for full-time and part-time employees. Annual leave for full-time employees is credited at the beginning of the leave year, while annual leave for part-time employees is accrued in units of 20, 13, or 10 hours worked. Military service time (in most cases) counts towards USPS service time for determining annual leave per year. (For example: If you served four years in the U.S. military prior to your employment with the USPS your initial annual leave amount would be in the 3-15 year category. However, military retirees do not qualify for this time except under certain conditions.)
Annual Leave Accrual – Full Time Employees
Less than 3 years – 104 hours (13 days)
3-15 years – 160 hours (20 days)
15 years or more – 208 hours (26 days)
Annual Leave Accrual – Part Time Employees
Less than 3 years
104 hours, or 13 days per 26-period leave year or 4 hours for each bi-weekly pay period.
1 hour for each unit of 20 hours pay in status.
160 hours, or 20 days per 26-period leave year or 6 hours for each full bi-weekly pay period, plus 4 hours in last pay period in leave year.
1 hour for each unit of 13 hours in pay status.
15 years or more
208 hours, or 26 days per 26-period leave year or 8 hours for each full biweekly pay period.
1 hour for each unit of 10 hours in pay status.
Maximum Leave Carryover Amounts
Bargaining Unit Employees
440 hours (55 days)
Postal Career Executive Service (PCES) Employees
Greater of 560 hours or 16 days (128 hours)
560 hours (70 days)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 entitles eligible employees to be absent for up to 12 workweeks per year for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition, or when unable to work because of a serious health condition without loss of their job or health benefits. The FMLA does not provide more annual or sick leave than that which is already provided to Postal Service employees. Employees who have been employed by the Postal Service for at least one year and who have worked at least 1250 hours during the previous 12 months are eligible. (From Joint APWU & USPS Family & Medical Leave Act Statement).
Your Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to “eligible” employees for certain family and medical reasons. Employees are eligible if they have worked for a covered employer for at least 1 year, and for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and if there are at least 50 employees within 75 miles.
REASONS FOR TAKING LEAVE
Unpaid leave must be granted for any of the following reasons:
1. to care for the employee’s child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care;
2. to care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition; or
3. for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job.
At the employee’s or employer’s option, certain kinds of paid leave may be substituted for unpaid leave.
ADVANCE NOTICE AND MEDICAL CERTIFICATION
The employee may be required to provide advance leave notice and medical certification. Taking leave may be denied if requirements are not met.
1. The employee ordinarily must provide 30 days advance notice when the leave is “foreseeable.”
2. An employer may require medical certification to support a request for leave because of a serious health condition, and may require second or third opinions (at the employer’s expense) and a fitness for duty report to return to work.
JOB BENEFITS AND PROTECTION
1. For the duration of FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage under any group health plan.
2. Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms.
3. The use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee’s leave.
UNLAWFUL ACTS BY EMPLOYERS
FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to:
1. interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA.
2. discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.
1. The U.S. Department of Labor is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of violations.
2. An eligible employee may bring a civil action against an employer for violations.
– FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.
Certification of Health Care Provider
You can have your “serious health condition” classified under FMLA if certain conditions are met. The advantage to you for FMLA classification is that leave taken for a “serious health condition” does not count against you for disciplinary purposes. You should have your health provider complete form WH-380 for a “serious health condition” that involves one of the following: (Submit completed form WH-380 to your immediate supervisor.)
Hospital Care – inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay)
Absence Plus Treatment – a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days that also involves treatment of two or more times.
Pregnancy – or for prenatal care
Chronic Conditions Requiring Treatments – requiring periodic treatments or for treatment of episodic events such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.
Permanent/Long-term Conditions Requiring Supervision – permanent or ongoing incapacity due to a condition such as Alzheimer’s, a severe stroke, or the terminal stages of a disease.
Multiple Treatments (Non-Chronic Conditions) – for multiple treatments such as for cancer (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.), severe arthritis (physical therapy), kidney disease (dialysis).
(The above is a synopsis of WH-380. The complete form contains complete serious health condition categories.)
(Source: U.S. Department of Labor)
The Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP), administered by the Office of Personnel Management, is among the most generous and popular of all postal benefit plans.
Virtually all career USPS employees (and eligible family members) are covered by the FEHBP. Employees that are not eligible (with certain exceptions) include those serving in a temporary position lasting less than a year (including Casual and Temporary Employees, Substitute Rural Carriers, and Rural Carrier Associates). Other exclusions include non-citizens and employees paid on a contract or fee basis including contract job cleaners and contract carriers.
Several types of plans are available, including the Service Benefit Plan (available nationwide), Employee Organization Plans (available through employee organizations such as labor unions), and Comprehensive Medical Plans (group practice plans/HMOs) available regionally. You must consider your individual and family situation in deciding which health plan is best for you and your family.
The following 10 days are observed as holidays by the U.S. Postal Service
1. New Year’s Day – January 1
2. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday – 3rd Monday in January
3. Washington’s Birthday – 3rd Monday in February
4. Memorial Day – Last Monday in May
5. Independence Day – July 4
6. Labor Day – 1st Monday in September
7. Columbus Day – 2nd Monday in October
8. Veterans’ Day – November 11
9. Thanksgiving Day – 4th Thursday in November
10. Christmas Day – December 25
Long Term Care
For complete information go to http://www.ltcfeds.com/
Sick Leave is provided to employees for paid time off from regularly scheduled work hours due to illness, injury, pregnancy, and medical examinations and treatment (including dental and optical). Sick leave is accrued and credited at the end of each bi-weekly pay period in which it is earned.
Sick Leave Accrual
4 hours for each full biweekly pay period: 104 hours (13 days per year)
1 hour for each unit of 20 hours in pay status up to 104 hours (13 days year)
Thrift Savings Plan
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees. Congress established the TSP in the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986. The purpose of the TSP is to provide retirement income. The TSP offers Federal employees the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under “401(k)” plans. More information at the Thrift Savings Plan Website.
U.S. Savings Bonds
Postal Employees may purchase U.S. Savings Bonds through payroll deduction. U.S. Savings Bonds can be a smart addition to a personal savings program. Advantages include stable rates, paying no state or local income taxes on Savings Bond interest, and no federal tax until you cash the bonds. Backed by the U.S. Treasury, U.S. Savings Bonds are one of the most secure investments that you can make. To learn more about U.S. Savings Bonds visit the Savings Bonds Website or call 1-800-4US-BOND (1-800-487-2663). To enroll, request PS Form 1192 (U.S. Savings Bond Authorization for Purchase and Request for Change) from your local Human Resources office.
(Photo by Bob Miller. Shared under Creative Commons License 2.0.)