Postal Worker’s Removal For Unacceptable Attendance Affirmed By MSPB

Removal for Unacceptable Attendance Affirmed, 2009 MSPB 134, July 17, 2009 Curtis vs USPS

It was undisputed that over the course of about 21 months, the Austin, TX P&DC Mail Processing Clerk was absent from work 81 days, including 77 days of unscheduled leave without pay (LWOP).  In his response, the appellant asserted that his absences were due to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.  The Board affirmed the appellant’s removal holding, “Although an agency’s approval of unscheduled leave generally precludes the agency from taking adverse action on the basis of those absences, an exception to the rule exists where an employee makes excessive use of unscheduled LWOP.”

Bad news can be good news: While the appellant lost his job, he appears eligible for disability retirement.  He must apply within one year of the effective date of separation as shown on his last Form 50 (that’s usually not the date in the Notice of Removal).  Since he gets only one chance to get it right, he should hire an attorney that specializes in that area of law.  If the disability retirement is approved, he would get back pay to when his postal pay stopped and be eligible for restoration if he eventually recovers.  For more information on disability retirement, see OPM’s website:

Don Cheney
Auburn WA

12 thoughts on “Postal Worker’s Removal For Unacceptable Attendance Affirmed By MSPB

  1. I have a letter from Greg Bell APWU Business Agent concerning Medical Documentation Requests for absences of 3 day or less dated 8-27-07. And a response letter from John Dockins USPS Manager Of Contract Administration (APWU) 9-10-07, in which he does NOT dispute APWU’S postition that requests for Medical Documation for 3 Days Or Less, CANNOT be requested UNLESS the employee is on RESTRICTED SICK LEAVE! Medical Documentation also cannot be requested in cases of ALLEGED charges of ABUSE OF SICK LEAVE and EXCESSIVE USE OF SICK LEAVE.

    These letters can be used by NALC and Mail Handlers and other crafts in cases since all USPS employees are covered by the same ELM Attendence Regulations.

    For a copy. e-mail me at

  2. I watched the senate hearing on the situation confronting the postal service and everyone offered their thoughts on what to do to fix it.

    All failed to mention the obvious though. The number one problem with the USPS is their criteria, or lack thereof in selecting their managers and supervisors.

    Any organization that has no qualifications for their low level entry into supervision is bound to have serious issues.

    I can guarantee you that if the USPS was intended to be a “money making” interprise, congress would have demanded that the USPS hire qualified “leaders”.

    Those who come here to bash their fellow employees are more the problem than the one’s whom they are bashing, because they are playing right into management’s hands.

    I get a chuckle out of those who come here bashing injured workers.

    These are the same one’s whose motto is, “You told me to show up for work, you didn’t tell me that I had to do anything when I got here!”

    The one poster must be keeping his own private attendance sheet. How else would he know how many weeks or months an employee has not been to work?

    The way that I see it, as long as I get paid for being at work, I don’t concern myself with whether or not anyone else is at work. Now, on the other hand, if I were forced to come to work and not get paid, like a slave, then I would worry about everyone else who is not there.

    That is another problem with the USPS…the culture is that employees focus too much on their fellow employees, rather than taking that energy and doing their own jobs.

    How much of you 8 hour day is spent worrying about your fellow employees?

    Then you have the nerve to come here and talk about how much you do versus those “lazy bums” who are obviously faking and taking advantage of the system.

    Most of it is due to envy and jealousy because you don’t have the means to do the same thing that you are bashing your fellow workers for. I can also guarantee that you show up for work only because you love working for the USPS.

    No, you show up because you cannot afford not to.

    Those who talk about never missing work come to work sick. They pass their germs onto everyone else because they either have no life and use the USPS to satisfy any need for “social contact” or don’t have the money where they can afford to miss work.

    Then they come here and try to pass it off as some sense of loyalty to the USPS and anyone else who doesn’t come to work injured or sick are just faking and taking advantage of their follow employees and the USPS. Yeah, right!!!!

  3. “PO Sucks” is obviously and deliberately mispelling and showing improper grammar, for whatever ignorant reason his fibble mind has conjured up.

    Maybe this is entertainment and an attention getter for him, since he probably doesn’t have a life.

  4. “PO SUCKS”,

    You should not be allowed to post here until you learn proper grammar and how to spell, not to mention your idiotic comments themselves.

  5. Tell me where I can get some help.I am a mail processor for 13 years, our plant closed back in May. Almost 300 employees were relocated in the immediate area. No more than 60 miles from home.Three of us, all black ,all over 50 and all with what Mark Scaroborough, the lead manager in Kansas City says is a disability, were sent 180 miles from home. And get this,I’ve never been on light duty or limited duty or anything. But I did file an EEO and a lawsuit back in 2003-2006. Just call me straw man. I have filed another EEO.

  6. If the postal had people that were actually qualified for their jobs in higher positions (meaning not putting idiots that have no clue what they are doing nor do they care to find out like the one in the office i work who is only in her position because her job had ended) stress woul;d be a little lower and things would be done more professionally and ethically


  8. Clerk in MO sounds like he needs to do some research on PTSD and depression. A person with PTSD and depression cannot control the outbursts, the rage, the nightmares or the behavior, much less having the ability to just going to get help to get better; some don’t even think they have “problems” This guy is probably a disabled veteran, if so, his PS Form 50 will show the rating. If he is a 5-10 point veteran he was hired because of it. The agency knew he had a disability before they hired him. Did the agency provide him with reasonable accomodations as stated in EL-307? How can the agency, as well as Clerk in MO assume the employee just didn’t want to work?

  9. This guy should be let go without back pay. If he really valued his job he would have sought help with his “problem” This hurts other employees because he’s holding a job and not filling it, so someone has to cover for him. We have a similar situation of someone never showing up for work. I’m not so sure his attendance is as good as the person you mentioned. He is gone about 2-3 months and then shows up for a couple of days and misses another 2-3 months. I have no sympathy for someone who doesn’t want to work. Or doesn’t want to get well, whatever their reason. There are plenty of people who do want to work. The customers depend on us, yet we can’t depend on some of the employees who constantly call in. Get rid of them now and save the postal service!

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