Update: EEO Class Action For Postal Employees Placed Under National Reassessment Process

A class action complaint for injured on duty postal employees was certified by an EEOC Administrative Judge (AJ) on May 30,2008.

In the case of (Read article from February 17, 2009) Sandra McConnell, et al. v. United States Postal Service an AJ decision certified the following class:

All permanent rehabilitation employees and limited duty employees at the U.S. Postal Service who have been subjected to the National Reassessment Process (NRP) from May 5, 2006 to present, allegedly in violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The AJ certification decision recited evidence that the goal of NRP was to assign work to
employees who had an approved compensable injury as determined by the Department of Labor.

According to the decision, Phase 1 of NRP consisted largely of reviewing the files and medical records of all these employees; where needed requesting updated medical documentation from the employee; and verifying that current work actually being performed matched the current job offer. According to the decision, Phase 2 consisted largely of canvassing facilities to identify work necessary for operations and functions, attempting to match the employee with the necessary work, and if none is found, notifying the employee that no work was available.

Class members argued one or more of the following complaints:

1. NRP is a systemic attempt to abolish reasonable accommodations agency wide.
2. The agency’s alleged facially non-discriminatory policy is being applied in a discriminatory manner.
3. The process constitutes denial(s) of reasonable accommodation.
4. The process constitutes discrimination based on disability (physical/mental).
5. The process constitutes unlawful harassment and hostile work environment based on disability (physical/mental).
6. The agency unlawfully modified or terminated each person’s approved disability accommodations without cause.
7. The agency made its reassignment decisions improperly by, inter alia, failing to engage in the interactive process.
8. The agency applied the program discriminatorily both with regard to each individual and how the process was applied.
9. The agency’s actions are retaliatory for the individual’s protected conduct, in reporting injuries, filing worker’s compensation, and/or prior EEO activity.
10. The agency’s conduct violated its procedures and OWCP’s regulations and blatant failure to follow the agency’s own regulations is presumed to be motivated by retaliation and/or discrimination.

The Postal Service filed an appeal from the certification decision.

Recently EEOC agreed with the AJ’s determination that the class should be defined as all permanent rehabilitation employees and limited duty employees at the agency who have been subjected to the NRP since 2006. Therefore, the EEOC reversed the Postal Service’s order rejecting the class and ordered them to notify potential class members.

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65 thoughts on “Update: EEO Class Action For Postal Employees Placed Under National Reassessment Process

  1. I’ve had 3 knee injuries in the past 18 yrs. Have 2 knee surgeries and will a knee replacement, my rotator cuffs are worn and torn, had 2 rotator cuff surgeries on same shoulder and still not any better, my carpal tunnel has returned. Had knee surgery in june of 2009, 5 weeks later had the rotator cuff surgery, 3 weeks later the manager called me told be I needed to be back at work, went back to work on limited duty, honestly was overworked being on limited duty. On 06/25/10 some one from OIG came in, the supervisor, my union steward and myself all sat in the conference room. OIG gave instruction to supervisor and supervisor relayed instructions to me even though we were all in the same room. They wanted me to sign a form 2499, according to my restrictions, doctor stated that I could work full duty but only case for 2 hrs. and deliver for 2 hrs, with no weight restrictions. They wanted me to sign the 2499 in which I would agree to work from 7 am to 11 am. That is only 4 hrs. of work the other 4 hours I would have to either take sick leave, annual leave,LWOP or file a CA-7a. The man stated that I had 10 minutes to agree or decline to sign the form. I stated I will not sign form 2499 until I speak to the union district representative, because my union stewart had no knowledge of what was going on. Unable to contact the rep. left a message only. Told them that I would not sign, man said ” you”re not signing meaning yor”re not accepting the job offer”? I said “I’m not signing not because I’m refusing the job offer but because I do not understand the form 2499, and I will not sign a legal form without representation”. The man said ” Well you can sign this form and challenge it later”. I could not help but smirk at his statement and said “sorry but I will not sign”. The man picked up the phone, called his superior then hung up. In front of me, instructed the supervisor to give me a leave slip, and several other forms and stated that I would be clocked out at 10:30 and I could not come back from 06/25/10 until 07/03/10; the mans’ last statement was ” okay ma’am we will come back with a different proposition; and so I clocked out, went home pretty distressed, I e-mailed my state senators, my state represented with the information. Not sure, what transpired in between, but the next morning my supervisor text me at 4:30 am, it said come to work and report at 7 am. I arrived at 7 am ask the supervisor what my duties were for the day, he stated “they want you to stay in the swing room all day”, I said “Okay” as I turned around to walk to the swing room the supervisor said “never mind just do what you normally do”. Went back to the doctor my restrictions were fully duty and only deliver 2 hrs. Well they have me casing 5 to 7 hours, delivering express then deliver 2 hrs of mail. Since both my shoulders hurt, and I have to case with both hands if I have to case above my shoulder. I’ve been thinking should I hurt in both shoulders by casing all these hours, or hurt on one shoulder by delivering by whole route. Well, I called the doctor told him to release me to complete full duty, because I’, tired of having pain on both shoulders,might as well have pain on only one.Filed and EEO complaint for disability discrimination, should I use an EEO union stewart are get an attorney?

  2. I am to an injured employee since 2007. I was given permanent modified accomodations. NRP came in effect here in El Paso Tx for me on 18 Aug 2010. My permanent accomodations was taken away, which I worked 8 hours a day as a modified clerk. I was given 8 hrs on monday and 6 hrs for the other days and owcp pay for the 2. I truely beleive that a wrong does’t make a right and god will fix what it takes to make it right, no matter how long it takes. I was treated like crap since the nrp came into affect and management doesn’t care. I hope and pray everyone thats making all these desicions that are wrong end up in a position the same as we. I hope the lawsuit helps also. I am stuck and I really don’t know what to do now. My union has filed a grievence, but you can’t do an eeo and grievence for the same thing. There are no lawyers I have found here in El Paso. I hope a lawyer see this and e-mail me. God Bless all injured employees that we will be ok.

  3. @Goldheart…you are absolutely right!! The first time I was put off the clock..I wrote to my Congressman along with my Union Steward…not only did I return to work..I was paid ALL of my backpay from six months…on top of the Unemployment benefits that I was entitled too!! Words on the web…mean nothing if they are not heard or seen by the people that are supposed to see them!!

  4. @Nene..First off…All the disrespect..screw you!! Don’t tell me ish about the Postal Service until you can speak English!!Who gives a rat *ss if you worked 3 years, 13 years, or 30 years!!! HURT IS HURT!!! Prior to me working this job, I was healthy!! So what the hell does that have to do with if I worked there 30 years or not!! Are you in management to make such stupid, insensitive *ss comments…I am in college finishing out my degree so I will no longer have to keep using my body…before I can’t walk anymore…You sound like you need to return back to school!! Furthermore…How do you end your last letter with God Bless…then turn around in talk disrespectful!! I thank God you are not an OWCP claims examiner!!! For everyone else…I wish you all luck on your claims and I hope you never have to endure such disrespect from a fellow co-worker!! WTF does me working 13 years have to do with OWCP not wanting to pay!! Thank Goodness I already had an attorney from my last injury..otherwise…I would be screwed like most of my co-workers now!! Karma is a B*TCH…nene..so watch your Karma and the words you use out of your feeble minded mouth!!

  5. if all of youon this site use your writing skills to contact the congress you will get a better response than asking each other for answers, where there are many there is power.

  6. my dear fellow injured workers. I was not only fired for my on the job injury but went to jail!! I won my case with a eeo, but 3 yrs later they told me there is no work. all the work I was doing is now being done by managers. I have not been back to work since 12/7/2009, and had to get unemployment. I am still fighting the dept of labor for my pay. the postal service is sick and I know this would never, never go on in private businesses. we all should get our union to do a march in front of the post office. the papers and news would eat this up. why are we not doing anything about this!!!people need to know whats going on!!!

  7. I overheard management on several occasions insisting they wanted to higher up the illegal aliens to do all of the work the craft workers do at minimum wage. Somethin’ else. Why don’t we just replace them as well with illegal aliens at minimum wage?!?!? That’ll fix everything at the USPS. You know, with this sort of ‘attitude’towards people/each other, it’s know wonder this country’s economy remains in the toilet for so long, stinkin’ up the planet. No wonder. And how come these managers can’t manage more than one office?? And these Postmaster’s more than one city or county, while they are constantly harassing/badgering craft employees to do more actual WORK than they can perform without injury??? Why can not we expect the same of them?? (management) REALLY good question, is it not?? Let’s get the managers/supervisor’s/postmaster’s to do more and more ‘managing’ until they finally ‘crack’, and then make them ‘prove’ they have ‘cracked’ under the pressure at their own expense, then fire them for filing an ‘on-the-job-injury’ report form. Yeah!!! Then make them file EEO after EEO conmplaint and refuse them their EEO rights into oblivion. That would be FAIR and EQUAL. Would it NOT??? Who dissagrees?? Fair is fair.

  8. Please excuse the spelling. Something with this website graphics input section, can’t ‘see’ right side proper. needs fixed. Am requesting help here though. My lifes work to ‘get where I was’ with my humble mailhandler career has been literally stolen from me, totally wrongfully. I was 50 on 25MAY’07 with a totally ‘clean’ record, on and off duty. These criminals in charge in the USPS should be ‘fired’ in shame, not me. I ‘commited’ no crime here. They did.

  9. Was stationed in Arlington, Va., was in the/NRP program and was never even notified. Everyone knows the USPS maintains a ‘MEDIEVAL’ type working conditions in its, especially ‘outer-facilities’. No ‘truely’ LIFTING fork lift(s) (just ground level) and there should be ‘spring-lift’ bottoms in all of the APC units to provide repetative lifting ‘help’ like the ‘old’ bungy- canvas hampers. I requested this over and over. Normal’ accomodation(s), never the less for ‘aging’ or dissabilities. Forever refused. Plus management refused to simply, continuousely, ‘deal’ with certain, usually the ‘overtime-obsessed’, always trashing the office, then ‘abusing’ employees like me to due even more ‘bending-stooping-lifting’ duties on ‘top’ of the usual duties instead of properly ‘dealing’ with the ‘blatent’ insubordinates properly and processing THEM for termination. I was, by a 204B Trainee Supervisor, physically and sexually assaulted on approx. 21MAY07 and reported it to the manager who refused to take corrective action against the supervisor. I already knew about the ‘prohibition’ on filing ‘on-the-job-injuries’ and did not do it ‘right-away’, and probably would have not if the manger/supervisor did not ‘blatently’ lie about it, so I did (fill out the ‘CA’ USDL-OWCP form(s) for both the injury(s) and the mental damage done by the ‘stress’ of it all (explained) The same managers unlawfully ordered me of the premisses on 25MAY07 and commenced to process me thru two abitrations and terminated me totally illegally. The Ex-Postmaster bald faced lied to the arbitrators about my/ the ‘PRB’ ‘issue’, saying I was ‘insisting’ I could not do the job (mailhandler) after years of requesting the above explained ‘normal’, never the less ‘aging’ accommodation(s) detailed above. The ‘reason’, af course (real reason) was because they were ‘protecting’ the 204B trainee supervisor. Everyone ‘involved’ was African American. I am a ‘Half-Breed’ Caucasion/American-Indian. The supervisor who assaulted/sexually assaulted me still has his ‘protected’ NRP position as an African American, enjoying doing Craft work at level 16 pay like he has for over a decade now, while I am jobless, homeless, broke, a can not find gainfull employment as an honorably decorated US military vetern of just under ten years, and just ‘up-to’ the detailed here, ALL honorable service with the USPS for just under 19 years. Need an attorney (pro-bono, contingency) ASAP. The USPS management simply refused to even process the ‘CA’ forms and fired me , illegally. I suffer from ‘ongoing’ severe clinical depression without medical coverage to ‘help’ after this, and can no ‘further’ deal with this criminal activity I am a victim of. I desparately need an attorney as detailed. PLEASE HELP. Have an EEOC complaint in ‘Appeal’ status as of 08OCT08, an need the ‘age discrimination’ issue detailed filed in the US District Court. Been searching everywhere and no ‘pro-bono/contingency’ one((s) are ‘available’.

  10. I am a disabled vet that has worked for the federal government for over 21 years. I was injured in the post office in 1999 in Athens, Ga. That same year I was reassigned to a post office closer to my home due to permanent restriction for lifting, pushing, pulling and driving. It took one person to go into my file and started confussion. It is not my fault that my finance number was not changed in 9 years. When I went to the union I was told by the president that I was the first one to be reassessed from my place of employment. When I told him I was a disabled vet his reply was, “it doesn’t matter.” Other employees as well as myself, think it is wrong and that our privacy is violated when anyone in management can go into our personnel files. Once in our files they can easily change anything they want. The union was no help in this matter and I hope that this class action will help the employees that were done wrong.

  11. Danielle Bethune on Tu You have not work for the postal as long as a lot of injured workers. You are just starting at 13 years I did not have an injury neither but the longer you work for the USPS the injuries will come. You are still a baby in the postal office talk to me when you put some really time in 20 plus or better. The postal service will make sure you leave with back problems or shoulder problems or even mental problems just keep working . You haven’t even begun to work when the USPS go private that when the real work began . If you think 13years is seniority you will find out when you have relocate to another state. So just shut up and hope that they don’t cripple you for life .

  12. I was a rural Carrier for 17 years and with the USPS for a total of 24 years. For all of you who say what the USPS did to us was okay I will just say one thing….you obviously have never been injured for which you should be very thankful!! I was forced, against my better judgement, to deliver mail literally in a hurricane. When you are required to go out under such dangerous conditions, (everyone was told to stay off the roads unless it was an emergency) and are subsequently injured because you followed orders I believe any company should be responsible for making sure you can still earn a living! I never asked for a free ride however,I did ask almost daily for something productive to do. I was treated like a crook for following orders and being hurt in the process. When I was sent home under NRP I was a very productive member of our facility (my PMs boss finally made him give me work to do) I am still told how much I am missed! So all of you who think crappy treatment of dedicated employees is okay can KISS MY @&& and never forget that you could be next!!!!

  13. i was injuried in 2000, 2005, 2008 due to the fact that the postal service don’t care about you when you are hurt, they will harrass you, talk about you even lie on you. as long as you can carrier mail ten hours a day you are the best person in the world. but as soon as you get hurt delivering their mail, and can’t work, they will turn their back on you, harrass you, and turn your so call friends, and union against you. put you in a corner and let some of the customers harrass you, can’t take breaks with other employees, tell other employees not to talk to you. and if you are looking for help from your union, its a waste of time. because as long as management let the union rep. do what they please, they will not represent a injuried letter carrier. but the lord knows a true heart, and at the end of the day god will take care of each situation. so what ever you are trying to do about your injury, have faith and god will do the rest.

  14. Technicalities blocked my claim. I was told my chiropractor’s medical information could not be used because an x-ray was not taken within 3 days of the injury. This rule is dated because chiropractors do not even have to take x-rays anymore, which mine does not. When I said I would gladly get an x-ray the reviewer said after 3 days it is too late. My family physician, surgeon and psychiatrist drew a line from my reccurrence to my injury, but because their medical presentations did not conform perfectly to the rules, the medical information was totally disregarded. Further evidence from my physical therapist and occupational therapist were thrown out as well because they were not MD’s. Six qualified expert’s medical charts were not even considered because of meaningless technical rules that are designed to disqualify claimants. Whether I was injured, had a reccurrence, or was disabled, never became an issue. Rules simply stopped any consideration of the medical facts and my condition. Before this experience I was comforted by having insurance. Since, I have learned that accessing it was made impossible for me.

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