USPS Settles Class Action Discrimination Lawsuit Filed For Disabled Veterans

According to Hill vs Potter : Clarence Hill filed a class complaint alleging that the Postal Service discriminated against him and all disabled veteran applicants by making improper pre-employment medical inquiries. On February 18, 2011, Judge Davi named Corey Baskerville, Zedrick Jenkins,and Frank Vander Haar as additional Class Agents. Clarence Hill has not agreed to the settlement as yet. His objections to the settlement agreement will be the subject of a separate post.

Overview of case: This lawsuit alleges that on or after March 19, 2004, the U.S. Postal Service violated the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by asking disabled veteran applicants seeking the disabled veterans’ preference to bring medical documentation to an interview, in excess of that required to verify their entitlement to the preference, before conditional offers of employment were made. The Rehabilitation Act prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s present or prior medical status before making a conditional offer of employment to the applicant. Once the employer has made a conditional offer of employment, even an offer conditioned on passing a medical exam or review, the Rehabilitation Act permits a disability-related inquiry. The USPS has admitted that it violated the Rehabilitation Act by making medical inquiries before conditional offers of employment in 60 districts during specific time periods.

The settlement agreement in part states:
After the instant Class Complaint was filed and continuing through the lengthy discovery process, the USPS undertook a far-reaching process to determine which of its Districts had a pattern or practice of violating the Rehabilitation Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12112(d)(2), by asking disabled veteran applicants seeking disabled veterans’ preference to bring medical documentation to an interview, in excess of that required to verify their entitlement to that preference, before a conditional offer of employment has been made, and what steps needed to be taken to bring the USPS in compliance with the Rehabilitation Act in the future. As a result of this process, the USPS took a number of important steps to ensure that its staff complies with the Rehabilitation Act and made critical changes to its hiring practices that District human resources staff must follow with respect to disabled veterans who seek the disabled veterans’ preference, some of which are set forth below. The USPS has implemented these changes throughout its 80 Districts.

To protect the rights of future applicants who seek the disabled veterans’ preference, the parties have confirmed the following steps that the USPS has taken to ensure compliance with the Rehabilitation Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12112(d)(2) and will continue to implement in the future, and additional actions that the USPS will take to ensure that disabled veterans are not subject to preoffer medical inquiries beyond the minimum documentation that is needed to verify the disabled veterans’ preference, which usually takes the form of a brief letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs stating that the applicant has a disability rating from the VA and the relevant percentage of such rating. Accordingly, the parties agree that:

A. Consistent with the Rehabilitation Act, the Postal Service has been and will continue to be committed to not seeking medical information, in the form of documents or otherwise, before extending a conditional offer, with the exception of the voluntary provision of medical disability information as part of the noncompetitive hiring process for persons with severe disabilities.

B. The Postal Service has been requesting, and will continue to request, confirmation of entitlement to veteran’s preference as part of the application process. The Postal Service has been requesting, and will continue to request, that veterans claiming 10-point preference based on a compensable disability submit an SF 15,Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and a statement showing percentage of disability.

C. Within one year after the Effective Date, the Postal Service will revise Chapter 4 of Handbook EL-312, Employment and Placement, to state that applicants who claim veterans’ preference status involving a veteran’s disability are not asked to provide information related to the nature of the disability or medical conditions.

D. Within one year after the Effective Date, the Postal Service will revise Chapter 4 of Handbook EL-312, Employment and Placement, to state that applicants claiming 10-point preference complete SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and attach the information specified on the back of the SF 15 to
support entitlement.

In full settlement of all Potential Class Members’ Claims, the Parties agree to a total settlement of $11.2 million. The sum is comprised of: (1) a Class Fund of $9.58 million (hereinafter the “Class Fund”),unless otherwise modified by Section 8(B) of this Agreement, which shall be distributed to Eligible Class Members through the payment of Settlement Shares and Service Awards; (2) $250,000 to cover the estimated cost of Settlement Services, Inc.’s settlement administration and processing of claims; (3) $1.35 million for attorneys’ fees and costs paid to Class Counsel; and (4) up to $20,000 to be paid to the Complainant or added to the Class Fund pursuant to Section 8(B).

Other than the USPS’ agreement that there is evidence of a pattern or practice of the Challenged Practice in the districts and time periods set forth in Exhibit A, the USPS expressly denies any wrongdoing or liability with regard to the allegations contained in the Administrative Class Complaint.

If you wish to challenge the USPS’ records that show you are not an eligible Class Member you may file a challenge with the Settlement Administrator, postmarked by August 8, 2011.

Hill v. Donahoe Settlement Administrator
Post Office Box 1367
Tallahassee, FL 32302-1367

If you did not receive a Claim Form with your Notice, USPS’ records show that you did not apply in one of those 60 Districts, or did not apply during a time period when there was evidence of a pattern of the USPS asking disabled veteran applicants to bring medical documentation in excess of that required to verify their entitlement to a preference to an interview before an offer of employment is made. Class Members are eligible to file Claim Forms if they applied in one of the 60 USPS Districts and time periods (for each such District) where there is evidence of a pattern of the USPS asking disabled veteran applicants to bring medical documentation, in excess of that required to verify their entitlement to the preference, to an interview before an offer of employment is made.

Over 26,000 Eligible Class Members may receive an equal share of the $9.58 million Class Fund (less service awards), up to $1,000 per person by filing a timely claim form with the Settlement Administrator. You are an Eligible Class Member if you (1) applied for employment within a USPS District during a time period listed for the corresponding district listed in the Settlement Agreement and (2) sought the disabled veterans’ preference. If you are an Eligible Class Member, you will receive a claim form in the same package as the Notice of the Settlement Agreement.

For a list of those Districts and time periods, click here.

click here for more information on the case

39 thoughts on “USPS Settles Class Action Discrimination Lawsuit Filed For Disabled Veterans

  1. We as veterans must first take our hats off to Mr. Hill for taking a stand, i was one of the veterans asked by the Postal Service to provide medical documentation prior to getting hired. The excuse I needed a job was no excuse as a member of the Air Force for 15 years I along with my family placed our lives on the line for this country on daily military life is not easy and families must give up something. The inter system of the Postal Service (i.e. managers/supervisor) seem to be hard press to honor our service with respect that is due this is all we ask in return for our service. Most veterans have experience in supervising individuals and know how to managed time and effort but to be under someone who does not have a clue about how to deal with personnel is disrespectfull. We are hard working and give respect to authority, but are not given our rights under the law, is the Postal Service above the law. This brings me to a personnal experience concerning FMLA, I have written everyone I can think of on the matter of the 1250 hours requirement. Does this reflect Mr Hill law suit the Postal Service it is may aware of our disabilities on our hiring date so does it make sense to let supervisor use this as a discipline tool against veterans. As we know three unscheduled your job is in jeopardy. Maybe this is another law suit because by law and a executive order and the Postal Service Employee Labor Manual we are given special consideration concerning our medical conditions, but everyone (i.e.mangers/supervisor and people who run the program) word it the way they feel even though it is in black and white. I am a bitter and confused individual now, wondering the who, what and why a system looks down on me because of my disabilities, the young men and women today deserve better treatment and respect, to all the veterans thanks i respect you for your service God Bless.

  2. Clarence H, as a disabled vet, regardless of the outcome you’ve won my brother! For all of your fellow vets already working here at the USPS and those yet to be hired to take our places.
    After your service, you’ve discovered the great injustice we call our legal system. Of course your attorneys believe it’s in the best intrest of the class, it is (while no expert) a end of road payday for the system.
    Management doesn’t take discrimination serious at the USPS, unless they get caught in the act or with their pants (skirts) down. This is the only company I know of where if you cost the company money they move you into management and offer to make you in charge of everything.

  3. I was turned down for a postal service job for the same reasons. However, I was turned down prior to the eligibility dates. Does that mean new lawsuit? Should I seek legal representation?

  4. USPS Record System: 120.121 Applicant Race,Sex,National Origin,and Disability Status


    Applicants for USPS examinations, including USPS employees.

    individual’s name,social Security Number, date of birth, lead ofice installation number,race,sex,national origin and disability status data:

  5. I have brought up the postal service medical regulation ELM-806 Section 152.3.and every other piece of material evidence I could find. Which is a lot? But when the Attorneys agree to the Settlement “as in the best interest of the class” over my objections and without me as the only class agent and then the ALJ adds three more that agree with them it becomes a fight with the Attorneys on both sides and a judge that has ruled in their favor on a like issues in the past. I still plan to attend the fairness hearing, I still plan to Appeal. That is all I know to do. I just hope the Judge voids this bogus agreement and starts over allowing new counsel he will not recuse himself as he should so it will be up to the OFO to void it on Appeal and give us new counsel and ALJ. If that does not work I can request reconsideration but after that I guess it is over if we do not prevail. There is one major issue this settlement has not and will not settle and can be brought up in the future as a separate issue it all depends on if this settlement is approved or not. If not it would be included in the next Settlement negotiations should this one be voided. However if this one stands they will have even a bigger problem to deal involving a violation for each act which could easily be in the millions of violations since they still do it. But next time it will not go through the EEO process you can count on that and not with these attorneys.

  6. Veterans:

    Franchesca Williams,
    Clarence Hill:

    Are you (both) now running and hiding!

    Throwing in the towel?

    As of now I do not qualify for the class action herein because I would be screaming more, conspiracies, collusions, mail fraud etc.

  7. Ms. Williams you are right must of us had to move on and just accepted the reason if any given by the PO as to why we were not selected. We have to keep the hope alive, the hope our lives will improve and when a person is working hard just to survive anything and everything that does not help move in that direction is just not worth our time. I also knew that what they were doing was wrong in fact they did too I thought it was so obvious yet they keep doing it. Since the violations were so obvious, I thought the law would be on our side and force them to make it right. However, I did not think our Attorneys would sell out, for that I apologies to all Class members.

  8. Allen Carlton:

    Respectfully, You claim that you are a National Whistleblower.

    Please look into the postal service medical regulation ELM-806 Section 152.3.

    Such was used against veterans.

    No judicial court not even the administrative courts want too address such!

  9. Maybe Ill go reapply and retest and see if they hire me? Haha. On the other hand, I have a bad taste in my mouth. Unemployment rates are high here and the jobs available pay very minimal. Ideally, I like to open my own business.

  10. Its just not fair. I guess I knew it was wrong and I should of tried to do something at that moment. I just been through so much and was going through so much at the time. I didnt want to take on the fight. I was tired, I just kept on moving to survive.

  11. What we experienced as targeted employees of the postal service can best be described as the Postal Holocaust. Evidence and proof of the Collusion is in undisclosed USSC 99-565 & supplement. In the RICO case it exposes premeditated and orchestrated Coercion / Collusion / Corruption / Subterfuge / Subversion / Sabotage / Murder / Terrorism resulting in Terminal Injustice (Goin Postal). The New Death Penalty Act and Executive Order 12871 are smoking guns.

  12. Mr. Bell is not one our Attorneys. But we need a good one that will not sell out. It is up the individual if they want to get “up to” the amount they say they are offering. When you add in the other 54,000 class members that might wish to claim a share in the fixed pot the 1000 could go down to a few dollars. Therefore if you accept it it is over for you even if we win on Appeal. This Settlement will Settle all issues but they are only paying for the asking for medical information through this Settlement we will never know if they used it to screen us out. Which would be a career position with back pay? And they will keep the records they have because they will not have to purge them.

  13. Dont know Mr. Bell, U would think you could file your own lawsuit? And is there a Statue Limitations on A Civil claim? Your the Attorney is that not correct? So I guess you have to Settle for whatever comes your way, is that what you are trying to say? Is it not true though, That YOU do not have to like It! Do You?

  14. What options are there to signing and getting money VS not signing and not getting money?

    I know you can complain to the administrator, but as to getting a payment, what are class members’ options?

    As I understand it, this is not like a regular class action where you can opt out and file your own lawsuit. Is this correct? You are stuck with this EEOC-sponsored class action or objecting and getting nothing. Correct?

    Also, even if you did file your own lawsuit, the amount of damages would depend on your proof USPS would have hired you had they not asked for the medical info until the legally correct later date. That would be difficult to prove. Again, I cannot find a reason for a class member to reject this offer.

    Also, the statute of limitations, I presume, would prevent you from filing a lawsuit. Correct?

    I commend Clarence Lewis for trying to get the best settlement possible. But as far as the claimants now are concerned, what complaints should they make? In the end, should they accept the settlement?

  15. The issues in this class action caused the Agency to change their nationwide testing policy, change their Privacy Act to hide the information contained in the HIRS and PEPS USPS records systems. They are again going to change their Privacy Act next month because of this case. One must ask why do they tell you what the “uses” changes are going to be changed to, but do not tell you what the “uses” were before being changed? They claim the stated record uses were “inadvertently deleted by mistake”? RIGHT! Why would you not believe that? It is better than saying to cover up the illegal voulations punishable by fines and prison terms for the ones involved at the Agency, OPM and the EEOC. All their legal departments know this.

    As I said if you are an employee or an applicant you better request your information contained in the record systems they are going make changes too in July or you may never know what misinformation or information they by law are not allowed to have on you in that file in that system and maintain for 30 years.

    As far as the Union what Union? You would think they know this is going on so I must believe they agree with the Agency’s practice. It must be cost effective for them. Even, if it is illegal.

  16. Wow, They approve Class Agents who suit there needs and disapprove those who dont. Sounds Like Real Fair Judgement. I wonder if everyone is blowing smoke up eachothers — . How about the Union Reps where do they fit in this? Mr. Hill I apologize for those who are bamboozling u and all of us who was affected. Good Day Mr. Haar.

  17. I totally disagree with this settlement. I was a 30% disabled Veteran that was offer a job prior to requesting my medical records. I was never contacted by the Attorney firm until after the settlement was made. Thanks Mr. Clarence Hill for requesting that I be added as a class agents. The request was denied because I didn’t support the settlement.

  18. Like the other 26,600 I am an ONE class member included in the settement and resolution. Clearly USPS did not follow the standards that other federal agencies and public agencies follow.
    I must admit not being in the loop in the early stages did not provided a lot of time to review or decide the options. I see a several gaps in how we can timely meet every veterans needs. The fear is the legal system moves very slowly and those of us of age may not see fairness in this matter.
    That said it looks like you have until 7-13-11 to write any objections down. 8-8-11 to return the form they sent.. Maybe someone should go to Atlanta on 9-1-11 to address their concerns to Judge Davi during the hearing.
    I’ve been on the postal register for many years (since I retired in 1997/50% disability). Never worked a day for the postal system. Good luck with what ever is decided.
    Mr Hill appreciate you and the legal folks bringing this matter forward…

  19. Yes sir you are one of the Class Members added after the signed Settlement Agreement . We have never spoken bit it is my understanding you are not a 30% disabled Veteran and therefore would have no idea of what the case is all about.Since I am the one who brought it and got the case certified. This Settlement is discriminatory for reasons you would know nothing about unless sir you were a thirty percent disabled veteran and besides, the fact is you were only added as a Class Agent over my objection for the sole reason that you agreed with the Attorneys Settlement they signed on December 16th,2011. This Settlement sir will do nothing to protect tens of thousands of disabled veteran applicants because it allows the Postal Service to continue to violate the Rehabilitation Act in the future through the conditional job offer and records they still will retain.

  20. I am one of he Class Agents representing the
    class in this case. I, and the other Class Agents– besides Mr. Hill — fully support the Settlemen Agreement with the U.S. Postal Service. The Agreement will protect tens of thousands of disabled veteran applicants by making sure that the Postal Service does not violate the Rehabilitation Act in the future. Eligible members of the Class can receive up to $1,000 each by just returning a form in the mail. This settlement is better for members of the Class than going forward with the litigation. Mr. Hill has the right to speak his mind, but I disagree strongly with him. This settlement is a very strong result for the Class.

  21. Thanks now What you are saying is become much Clearer. Thanks for clarifying this for me Gentlemen. I guess this is where they get the term Ignorance Is Bliss!

  22. Franchesca Williams:

    ELM-806 Section 152.3 violates the 1973 Rehabilitation Act! ELM-806 Section 152.3 is effective 1-12-1982. When I brought the matter up, on many, many,
    and many occasions, absolutely no one wanted too address the secret postal medical regulation.

    With regards too ask the postal service, I meant with asking postal personnel office or the postal human resource, etc., regarding such regulation because
    such was used against me in secret not too hire me.

    The postal service never mentioned such medical regulation for the reason. I got such information from other federal agency after digging in deeper into the


    SUMMARY: The United States Postal Service is proposing to modify nine
    of its General Privacy Act Systems of Records: USPS 100.000, General
    Personnel Records; USPS 100.100, Recruiting, Examining, and Placement
    Records; USPS 100.200, Employee Performance Records; USPS 100.300,
    Employee Development and Training Records; USPS 100.400, Personnel
    Compensation and Payroll Records; USPS 100.500, Personnel Resource
    Management Records; USPS 100.600, Personnel Research Records; USPS
    100.700, Medical Records and Related Documents; and USPS 100.950,
    Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Records. These modifications reflect
    the changes that have been made in changing from a primarily paper-
    based record keeping system to an electronic record keeping system.

    Strange they are changing them now you may want to request your information before they do because after this change it will be harder to meet their requirements for release of your information unless you keep every date time place and match it to a tee

    [Federal Register Volume 76, Number 117 (Friday, June 17, 2011)]
    [Pages 35483-35491]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office []
    [FR Doc No: 2011-15038]



    Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records

    AGENCY: Postal Service.

    ACTION: Notice of modification to existing systems of records and the
    addition of one new system of records.

  24. Wendal With All Due Respect Sir. Im trying to figure out what your point is? That this ELM-806 Sec152.3 Postal Service Regulation supersedes or over-rides the Rehabilitative Act and if so then Why did they recieve any Violations? Why is there any settlement at all? Doesn’t make sense does it.

  25. Wendall, I would not know who to contact to review this manual. I presume they would not just supply this to me on request? I will try and find it on the internet and will Educate myself. Thanks for the info!

  26. Hi Franchesca Williams,

    Let me correct my misspelling:

    “Ask” the postal service about its Medical Regulation regarding Employee and Labor Relations Manual ELM-806 Section 152.3.

    Such U.S. Postal Service medical regulations provides restrictions and prohibits.
    It requires medical information be provided.

    Postal Service regulation ELM-806 Section 152.3 has a date effective stamp of 1-12-1982.

  27. Good Day Wendall, R U with the EEOC? Dont understand your comment? If so we are being monitored as expected and I want my comments heard so Thankyou. Clarence, EEOC was dodging me, as I found your complaint on the Internet years ago because when it happened to me I thought this is not right. Let me say there is The Supreme court is there not? I dont know all the jargon, or legal mumbo jumbo but this has angered me. I will support you 100% Clarence. HIPPA violations too! I worked for the Post Office in the Past, I just resigned because I was a Widow and had a very young school aged child at home. Just the statements in the settlement were coercive in nature. Something needs to be Done. I am going to rally supporters. Call me Clarence if you would like. look forward to reading your replies. God Bless Us! One Nation Under (Who)? Power, Money and Authority.

  28. As the postal service about Medical Regulation ELM-806 Section 152.3.
    The U.S. EEOC, U.S. MSPB, U.S. Courts will not address such regulation.

  29. Since I objected, if approved I get nothing. The Agency gets to continue to do what they are doing… Using “’Disability Codes” and maintain them in non-medical record systems used for appointments and promotions. Which should be separate violation for each record PS 3666 PS 2488 PS 8155 PS 50 forms and hiring checklist and you will never know how they have been doing this for over 26 years without your knowledge or consent that by law they must have. When they can change the Privacy Act to hide where these records are maintained for 30 years, it gets a little too big for then to handle. So what do you do? You offer the Attorneys walk away no fee disputes a quick million the settle and they did. They did not want to have 77,000 known and hundreds of thousands violations plus all the individual hearings we would have been mandated by EEOC on these issues even though they admitted to it in 60 out of 80 Districts. EEOC protects who?

  30. Since I objected and did not sign the bogus agreement, if approved I get nothing. The Agency gets to continue not to do what they do.

  31. And Just for the Record I seen a public Newspaper Ad; Hiring USPS three years of medical records required for ALL Applicants. This was just announced in the last year or so. Is that a way not to Discrimnate with out getting caught you mean!

  32. Hi Derrick, Airborne!!! Problem is there not showing Clarence Hill the money. A measley 20,000 for him and 1000 to all other class members. They retined millions. Ooh Rah that, them scheisters! Everybody has the hand in other poeples pockets. class member

  33. UUUH RRRAHHH !!!!
    It’s about time that these Federal Agency’s are exposed of their Discriminatory Practices….A large percentage of those whom “NEVER” served vigilently as WE, make determinations on Veterans livelyhood. The voice of reason has spoken and stated: This will not be tolerated under “NO” circumstances….My hats off to Mr. Hill and the Counsel he’s retained….As they say : “Show him the $$$$$$”
    Peace & Blessings,

  34. Have to add that, Yes I passed the test. Yes a job was available, Yes they turned me down for my 10 point preference, yes I can do the job as well or better than any. Rural carrier would have been perfect in Stuttgart Arkansas. Sometimes now myself and my neighbors are walking house to house delivering mail that was misplaced. Final note. I am not an Obama approved person.

  35. I would still like to get that Postal Job. Currently our mail handlers have trouble getting our mail to us, I have even got mail from other States. As a retired military member I can pass any of their tests with my eyes shut.

    Iwill take a settlement but it just shouldn’t be that way. Give a Vet a Job Post Office.

  36. Hi Clarence, Totally agree with you. I hope You have legal Counsel! I commend you for the Stand u have taken, Fair? Not!!!! Fellow Preference Veteran

  37. My last post can anyone tell me this is not admitting to discrimination? For at lest two years nationwide? This does not include PS 50 and PS3666 and PS 8155 they call the settlemnt fair? For who?

  38. i no understan this settlement because first i am potencial class member and now you people send me a letter then i am no elegible i need a some informetion please,thank you.att:Jose A. Moyet

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