Postal Workers Class Action EEOC Cases Against USPS

February 18, 2011 by
Filed under: eeo, legal cases, postal, postal employees, usps 

The following are summaries of some class action EEOC cases pending and/or settled against USPS.

John Cyncar vs USPS
In the first class action case, complainant John Cyncar on April 30, 2001 filed a formal EEO complaint alleging that he was discriminated against in violation of Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 791 et seq., (Rehabilitation Act). Cyncar then moved to have portions of his complaint certified as a class action. He alleged, on behalf of the class, that the Postal Service’s Western Area Region violated the Rehabilitation Act when it treated qualified individuals with disabilities between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 2002 differently and less favorably than non-disabled individuals with respect to benefits provided by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and that the Postal Service’s treatment of disabled employees with respect to the FMLA resulted in failure to accommodate their disabilities and the discriminatory issuance of disability related absences. An EEOC Administrative Judge certified the class and letters were sent out to 49,000 potential class members . The USPS denied that it violated the Rehabilitation Act, FMLA, or that it did anything wrong. Regardless, the parties agreed to settle this Case on Dec 22, 2010. The parties decided to settled this case due to in part that Phases of the litigation would possibly take up to 5 or 6 more years (the case was already 8 years old). Cyncar v. United States Postal Service.

The settlement provided that USPS will pay, in full settlement of all claims in this Case:

The total sum of three-million-eight-hundred-fifty-thousand-dollars ($3,850,000)
This sum is comprised of: (1) a Class Fund of two-million-seven-hundred-thousand-dollars ($2,700,000); (2) two-hundred-thousand-dollars ($200,000) as a Reserve, as described in Section 7.3 of the Global Settlement Agreement; and (3) payment of attorneys’ fees and costs to Class Counsel in the amount of nine-hundred-fifty-thousand-dollars ($950,000).

From the Class Fund of $2,700,000.00, the following amounts are allocated as follows:
a) $20,000.00 to Class Agent Cyncar for his efforts throughout the course of the litigation;
b) $3,500.00 per person for each of the eight members of the Cyncar Settlement Committee; and
c) The payment of $9,783.54 as reimbursement for costs contributed by Class members

A provision that unclaimed funds would be divided equally between the USPS and the Wounded Warriors Fund.
All amounts remaining in the Reserve after payment of all Administrative Costs would be divided among eligible class members on apro rata basis.

Next case
Diana Pevoteaux v. United States Postal Service
The proposed class complaint alleges that the agency discriminated against class members when medical information was posted in the eRMS and made available to all personnel with access to the system in violation of the Rehabilitation Act. Specifically, it is alleged that the Postal Service is violating the Rehabilitation Act restrictions on the storage of confidential medical information by entering medical conditions and histories, including symptoms, diagnoses, or conditions, in the case comments section of FMLA Data Reports maintained in eRMS (Enterprise Resource Management System). It also alleged that the Postal Service is violating the Rehabilitation Act by disclosing this stored medical conditions and histories through eRMS to managers and supervisors who do not need the information to provide accommodations or to ensure medical restrictions are followed. This case is still pending.

Sandra McConnell vs USPS
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.

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. This case is still pending.

Edmund Walker vs USPS
Edmond C. Walker, the class agent in the Walker class action, filed a complaint on August 19, 2002. Walker alleged that, since April 2000, the Postal Service discriminated against individuals with disabilities by:

1. Placing disabled individuals in permanent rehabilitation positions without engaging in the interactive process as required by law;

2. Restricting disabled individuals who are placed in permanent rehabilitation [sic] to limited work hours without any medical justification and without consulting the individual with a disability;

3. Fail[ing] to allow individuals with a disability, who have been placed in permanent rehabilitation positions, to work the number of hours determined appropriate by the individual and his/her physician and which are available; and

4. Fail[ing] to allow individuals with a disability, who have been placed in permanent rehabilitation positions, to use assistive devices in the workplace to accommodate their disabilities, including but not limited to, electric scooters, notwithstanding that said assistive devices pose no threat to safety or inconvenient [sic] in the workplace.

This claim has been analyzed to include denial of overtime.

On December 12, 2003, an EEOC Administrative Judge issued a decision concerning the Walker class complaint. The Administrative Judge ordered the Postal Service to “identify all those pending complaints that raise the same issue as the Walker class complaint during the time frame encompassed by the Walker class complaint, January 1, 2000, to the present.” Unsure of status of this case.

There are several more EEOC class actions cases filed by Postal Workers which I will post at a later time.

Comments

6 Comments on Postal Workers Class Action EEOC Cases Against USPS

  1. Steve Dobo on Fri, 18th Feb 2011 6:54 pm
  2. I received notification that I am a part of a class action, more specifically, Sandra McConnell vs USPS. My participation includes being harrassed and intimidated by USPS Management regarding the amount of sick leave I required for recuperation due to having surgery for a double hernia.

  3. Lawrence Mathews on Mon, 21st Feb 2011 9:45 pm
  4. Many supervisors, managers and their pet employees have discriminated
    against employees who were disable. Even some of the union steward
    engaged in conduct unbecomming a steward. It is very sad that USPS stoop
    so low. While they attack the disable employees, the postal service allows
    cronyism and nepotism to go unchecked and allowing this practice as they
    want. The day of reckoning is coming for those managers, supervisors and
    pet employees who have wronged disableed employees and their families.

  5. Luis A. Quinones Jr. on Tue, 22nd Feb 2011 10:09 am
  6. In response to Lawrence Matthews’ comments,I couldn’t agree more.I’ve served the USPS for 17 years @ the Dominick V.Daniels P&DC in Kearny,NJ.I’ve seen stuff that’ll make the mob look innocent. Examples: Blackballing,Hand-picking Spvrs.to make false statements against their will,”outside interference” from other Mgm’t personnel,assault,fixed greivances and Arbitration Decisions…….There was even a former employee who was physically assaulted–by a Spvr.and WAS ALLOWED 2 SUSPEND HER! by the same Mgm’t Official who was getting “XXX-rated favors” in return-Yes,it’s true..It took over 500 complaints,and help from”the outside”2 get them both out…I ought 2 know.I,personally was an unfortunate victim of these acts.I was cleared every time.The sad part is,I became a “target”.My allies would become my enemies &the betrayals started happening–1by 1.As long as U have a life outside work,and “keep it real”–unlike those pieces of shit who dislike you,You’ll be all right.

  7. ABW on Tue, 22nd Feb 2011 3:11 pm
  8. I agree with you regarding management handpicking supervisors or shall I say 204B’s. They say that they will not change but the power gets to them. They start to think that they are better than you just because they can now sit behind a desk. Im North Lauderdale Florida Station a spanish 204B cursed out a black carrier that has been working for the post office for at least 20 years and served in the service. She the spanish 204B only been with the post office for five years. The first time she cursed him out the spanish manager did nothing. The second time management basically said that she was having a bad day. She is standing up again. If I were to curse out manangement the way she did, they would escort my black ass of the workroom floor. But in Pompano Beach Florida the spanish manangement looks out for another, and the uncle tom black supervisors just go along with it. Oh yes the spanish 204B was/is sleeping with manangement . I refuse to give head to get ahead.

  9. NOB on Wed, 23rd Feb 2011 6:10 am
  10. I worked for the Postal Service for 32 years and it felt like prison. Management will stoop so low to get what they want. Because they know the Union will not do anything about it. I think paying union dues all of those years was a farse. They only helped out their family and friends. To the rest of us they were rude and did nothing for us. I still have an outstanding step two grievance. I should have been paid on this grievance. The things I have seen and have had to endure during my 32 years of service is a crime.

  11. Sharmane M on Fri, 4th Mar 2011 9:03 pm
  12. Ok, speak my mind, what all the SH.T we rehabs put up with what a few dollar settlement, the lawyers here are no better than the postal people who targetted us cuz we were disabled, sick or injured~~for a few dollars all the yrs of bad management, mismanagement, stupidvisers, harassers, pets, lieing stewards for penneys, where is the satisfaction in this settlement~~the best thing that happened to me was to medically retire out, now I just have to wait until the government takes my annuity away and continue to beat us down~WOW, what a relief, NOT~~I still have my pride and I will do it all again, give the much BS back as it was given to me 1 Million times, do I have stories to tell~~I can’t believe people are allowed to put so much stress over others, for a measly number on a piece of paper at the end of the day~even mgrs lied and back stabbed each other to get ahead, places like this will continue to die out from the buddy system~