APWU Questions USPS Requirement for Absences of 3 Days or Less

September 5, 2007 by
Filed under: APWU, postal, usps 

Letter from Greg Bell, APWU Industrial Relations Director to the U. S. Postal Service regarding “Medical Documentation or Other Acceptable Evidence for Absences of Three (3) Days or Less” 

The purpose of this letter is to determine if there is a disagreement between the parties regarding the conditions under which an employee may be required to submit medical documentation or other acceptable evidence for periods of absence of 3 days or less; particularly with regard to the Postal Service’s obligation to adhere to Article 10 of the National Agreement and applicable provisions/requirements of Subchapter 510 of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual before an employee can be required to submit medical documentation for 3 days or less.

It has been called to my attention that through the application of the RMD/eRMS, local management is improperly requiring employees to submit medical documentation or other acceptable evidence for future absences of 3 days or less, It is my understanding that based on a supervisor’s review of an employee’s attendance record, supervisors are making a determination that medical documentation is deem desirable (requiring an employee to submit medical documentation of other acceptable evidence) for absences of 3 days or less, for the protection of the interest of the Postal Service. As you know, it is improper for management to deem documentation desirable for 3 days or less based on a review of an employee attendance record.

Moreover, in the absence of an employee being on restricted sick leave, supervisors may not require medical documentation or other acceptable evidence because of abuse or excessive use of sick leave for 3 days or less.

There are only two (2) circumstances under which supervisors may require medical documentation or other acceptance acceptable evidence for absences of three (3) days or less. Medical documentation or other acceptable evidence of incapacity for work or need to care for a family member may only be required:

1. When the employee is on restricted sick leave (pursuant to part 513.39) ofthe ELM, or

2. When the supervisor deems documentation desirable for the protection of the interests of the Postal Service (Part 513.361 of ELM) Accord ingly, supervisors may only require an employee to submit medical documentation or other acceptable medical evidence for absences of 3 days or less for future requests for sick leave by placing the employee on restricted sick leave, pursuant to part 513.39 of the ELM

In regard to individual requests for sick leave, a supervisor may deem documentation desirable for the protection of the interests of the Postal Service pursuant to part 513.361 of the ELM. However, the supervisor has the burden, on a case-by-case basis of justifying any demand for medical documentation or other acceptable evidence for 3 days or less…

If the Postal Service disagrees with the APWU position, it is requested that you provide the Employer’s position and any supporting authority to the contrary.

Deems Documentation Desirable

It is the APWU position that when a supervisor deems documentation desirable for the protection of the interests of the Postal Service pursuant to part 513.361 of the ELM, the supervisor has the burden, on a case-by-case basis of justifying a demand for medical documentation. In other words, the supervisor must have a legitimate reason for suspecting the validity of a sick leave request. In the absence of evidence of a legitimate reason to suspect that an employee’s request for sick leave is not for purposes2 in which sick leave may be used, a demand for medical documentation is improper.

It is also the APWU position that it is improper for management to deem documentation desirable (requiring an employee to submit medical documentation or other acceptable evidence) for 3 days or less because of alleged (1) abuse pf sick or (2) excess use of sick leave.

Management may only require an employee to submit medical documentation or other acceptable evidence for absences of 3 days or less because of alleged abuse or use of sick leave by placing such employee on restricted sick leave pursuant to part 513.39 of ELM. In the absence of an employee being on restricted sick leave pursuant to part 513.39 of the ELM, it is improper for management to deem documentation desirable for the protection of the interests of the Postal Service because of alleged abuse or excessive use of sick leave for absences of 3 days or less.

See Full Text of Letter

 

Comments

No Comments on APWU Questions USPS Requirement for Absences of 3 Days or Less

  1. Anonymous on Wed, 5th Sep 2007 10:21 am
  2. we gotta to stop this creeping european socialism somewhere and here is as good a place as any to start. no work no pay. your savings is your insurance

  3. Anonymous on Wed, 5th Sep 2007 8:03 pm
  4. What insutance? Use it if you need it or lose it. If there was a payback of some sort when you retire there may be less use of it for minor problems. As long as there is no incentive this issue will no go away. Dont tell me I have a benifit but I cant use it. The PO wants to be an insurance company and take your money (sick leave benifit)and then when you need it not give it to you and keep it for there bottom line….

  5. Anonymous on Thu, 6th Sep 2007 9:31 am
  6. Provide me with the same unused sick leave benifit that upper management gets and I will not use any of my sick leave

  7. common sense on Thu, 6th Sep 2007 10:03 am
  8. you have the same unused sick leave benefit as upper management if you both are CSRS or both are FERS. Most of these call offs are because the employee doesn’t feel like working not because they are incapacitated from working. That is the problem and any employer should have the right to request documentation when they deem it necessary. If there is obvious abuse by the employer then the union has the right to challenge but in most cases, the employer is not abusing but the employee is abusing. Can’t wait to retire from all this BS.

  9. bubba on Thu, 6th Sep 2007 3:13 pm
  10. if you need it use it,I got wriiten up for using mine,it’s been a year since using any,wait till the snow starts falling

  11. Anonymous on Thu, 6th Sep 2007 3:56 pm
  12. We don’t have the same sick leave benefit as management. I have talked to several supervisors who said as long as they make an appearance, they get paid for the whole day (not sick leave,but actual pay) regardless of how long they work. If I want to leave early because I don’t feel good, I have to use sick leave.

  13. Supervisor on Thu, 6th Sep 2007 10:43 pm
  14. Going to Anonymous: If you want the same, do the same. Step up into management and enjoy the rewards. Otherwise, keep it to yourself.

  15. Me on Fri, 7th Sep 2007 5:18 pm
  16. Supervisor: You are asking honest people to be theifs! sick leave should be handled the same way on both sides. How pathetic you are along with the rest that think your way.
    Signed
    36 year veteran of the Postal Service.

  17. Suck on Wed, 19th Sep 2007 6:44 am
  18. For the most part, supervisors are idiots. They are just henchman for the higher level management. They usually don’t know the contract, and waste $$ on needless greivances. Postal management has to be one of the worst in the country among all industries. We wouldnt last a day in the free market, not because of the “overpaid” workers, but because of the managers. I know of someone going to management classes for maintenace.. learning how to make paper airplanes efficiently and going on golf outings… yep, paid for by the USPS in Norman. Good stuff huh? Paying for management “training” trips….. and we get rip for using a little sick leave here and there.

    I won’t join you Stupervisor, I think I’ll just work on self to get the hell out of this organization. Enjoy your 3 hour lunch!

  19. Clerk in AZ on Sat, 22nd Sep 2007 11:34 pm
  20. Although the PO states that our sick leave is a “benefit”, we actually EARN it. If you are not working you are not earning any sick leave. I would like to know who agreed to the sick leave policy under FERS??? If I were to retire with 1000 hours of sick leave under this system, I might as well just take $20,000 and throw it in the garbage can!!!! Do you know ANYONE who would be willing to do that??? Does anyone know of any employee who still had a sick leave balance (their balance was not zero or negative) who was fired for abusing their sick leave??? I do not see how the PO could win in any court of law for firing someone who used a benefit that they earned! I plan on retiring with a sick leave balance of zero unless the current policy under FERS is changed. If they try to fire me, I WILL take them to court!

  21. chitlips on Thu, 1st Nov 2007 2:02 pm
  22. i am calling in sick 2 days in a row.. i am very sick with the flu.. i have only worked at the post office for 4 months.. will i be fired?

  23. Supervisor on Sun, 6th Jan 2008 4:30 pm
  24. News flash the rules are different from craft to craft. Supervisors do not make the rules for either side. A supervisor must work 4 hours before leaving on personal time. Personal time was given to supervisors when USPS decided to take away paing time and a half for working over eight hours.

  25. choctaw on Mon, 5th May 2008 2:00 pm
  26. will someone please let me know how many sick days can be taken in a calendar year before I can’t get paid sick leave…….I’ve taken 5 days in the last 7 weeks and I got a letter saying that if I reach my yearly limit I won’t get paid when I call in sick.

    what are the rules?

  27. postal on Mon, 5th May 2008 5:45 pm
  28. choctaw, someone is pulling your leg. If you received a letter stating you cannot use sick leave contact your steward or National APWU Headquarters.

  29. ted on Wed, 22nd Oct 2008 9:20 pm
  30. when you call in sick, and need to take three days do you call in each day or just that one time?