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: http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fers/disability.asp.