United States Code/Title 39/Chapter 10

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United States Code, Title 39
the United States Government
Chapter 10. Employment Within the Postal Service

§1001. Appointment and status[edit]

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title, the Postal Service shall appoint all officers and employees of the Postal Service.

(b) Officers and employees of the Postal Service (other than those individuals appointed under sections 202, 204, and 1001(c) of this title) shall be in the postal career service, which shall be a part of the civil service. Such appointments and promotions shall be in accordance with the procedures established by the Postal Service. The Postal Service shall establish procedures, in accordance with this title, to assure its officers and employees meaningful opportunities for promotion and career development and to assure its officers and employees full protection of their employment rights by guaranteeing them an opportunity for a fair hearing on adverse actions, with representatives of their own choosing.

(c) The Postal Service may hire individuals as executives under employment contracts for periods not in excess of 5 years. Notwithstanding any such contract, the Postal Service may at its discretion and at any time remove any such individual without prejudice to his contract rights.

(d) Notwithstanding section 5533, 5535, or 5536 of title 5, or any other provision of law, any officer or employee of the Government of the United States is eligible to serve and receive pay concurrently as an officer or employee of the Postal Service (other than as a member of the Board or of the Postal Regulatory Commission) and as an officer or employee of any other department, agency, or establishment of the Government of the United States.

(e) The Postal Service shall have the right, consistent with section 1003 and chapter 12 of this title and applicable laws, regulations, and collective-bargaining agreements—

(1) to direct officers and employees of the Postal Service in the performance of official duties;

(2) to hire, promote, transfer, assign, and retain officers and employees in positions within the Postal Service, and to suspend, demote, discharge, or take other disciplinary action against such officers and employees;

(3) to relieve officers and employees from duties because of lack of work or for other legitimate reasons;

(4) to maintain the efficiency of the operations entrusted to it;

(5) to determine the methods, means, and personnel by which such operations are to be conducted;

(6) to prescribe a uniform dress to be worn by letter carriers and other designated employees; and

(7) to take whatever actions may be necessary to carry out its mission in emergency situations.

§1002. Political recommendations[edit]

(a) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, each appointment, promotion, assignment, transfer, or designation, interim or otherwise, of an officer or employee in the Postal Service (except a Governor or member of the Postal Regulatory Commission) shall be made without regard to any recommendation or statement, oral or written, with respect to any person who requests or is under consideration for such appointment, promotion, assignment, transfer, or designation, made by—

(1) any Member of the Senate or House of Representatives (including the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico);

(2) any elected official of the government of any State (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) or of any county, city, or other political subdivision of such State or Commonwealth;

(3) any official of a national political party or of a political party of any State (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico), county, city, or other subdivision of such State or Commonwealth; or

(4) any other individual or organization.


(b) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, a person or organization referred to in clause (1), (2), (3), or (4) of subsection (a) of this section is prohibited from making or transmitting to the Postal Service, or to any other officer or employee of the Government of the United States, any recommendation or statement, oral or written, with respect to any person who requests or is under consideration for any such appointment, promotion, assignment, transfer, or designation. The Postal Service and any officer or employee of the Government of the United States, subject to subsection (e) of this section—

(1) shall not solicit, request, consider, or accept any such recommendation or statement; and

(2) shall return any such written recommendation or statement received by him, appropriately marked as in violation of this section, to the person or organization making or transmitting the same.


(c) A person who requests or is under consideration for any such appointment, promotion, assignment, transfer, or designation is prohibited from requesting or soliciting any such recommendation or statement from any person or organization except a statement of the type referred to in subsection (e)(2) of this section.

(d) Each employment form of the Postal Service used in connection with any such appointment, promotion, assignment, transfer, or designation shall contain appropriate language in boldface type informing all persons concerned of the provisions of this section. During the time any such appointment, promotion, assignment, transfer, or designation is under consideration, appropriate notice of the provisions of this section printed in boldface type shall be posted in the post office concerned.

(e) The Postal Service or any authorized officer or employee of the Government of the United States may solicit, accept, and consider, and any other individual or organization may furnish or transmit to the Postal Service or such authorized officer or employee, any statement with respect to a person who requests or is under consideration for such appointment, promotion, assignment, transfer, or designation, if—

(1) the statement is furnished pursuant to a request or requirement of the Postal Service and consists solely of an evaluation of the work performance, ability, aptitude, and general qualifications of such person;

(2) the statement relates solely to the character and residence of such person;

(3) the statement is furnished pursuant to a request made by an authorized representative of the Government of the United States solely in order to determine whether such person meets the loyalty, suitability, and character requirements for employment with the Government of the United States; or

(4) the statement is furnished by a former employer of such person pursuant to a request of the Postal Service, and consists solely of an evaluation of the work performance, ability, aptitude, and general qualifications of such person during his employment with such former employer.


(f) The Postal Service shall take any action it determines necessary and proper, including but not limited to suspension, removal from office, or disqualification from the Postal Service, to enforce the provisions of this section.

(g) The provisions of this section shall not affect the right of an officer or employee of the Postal Service to petition Congress as authorized by section 7211 of title 5.


§1003. Employment policy[edit]

(a) Except as provided under chapters 2 and 12 of this title, section 8G of the Inspector General Act of 1978, or other provision of law, the Postal Service shall classify and fix the compensation and benefits of all officers and employees in the Postal Service. It shall be the policy of the Postal Service to maintain compensation and benefits for all officers and employees on a standard of comparability to the compensation and benefits paid for comparable levels of work in the private sector of the economy. No officer or employee shall be paid compensation at a rate in excess of the rate for level I of the Executive Schedule under section 5312 of title 5.

(b) Compensation and benefits for all officers and employees serving in or under the Office of Inspector General of the United States Postal Service shall be maintained on a standard of comparability to the compensation and benefits paid for comparable levels of work in the respective Offices of Inspector General of the various establishments named in section 11(2) 1 of the Inspector General Act of 1978.

(c) Compensation and benefits for all Postal Inspectors shall be maintained on a standard of comparability to the compensation and benefits paid for comparable levels of work in the executive branch of the Government outside of the Postal Service. As used in this subsection, the term "Postal Inspector" included 2 any agent to whom any investigative powers are granted under section 3061 of title 18.

(d) The Postal Service shall follow an employment policy designed, without compromising the policy of section 101(a) of this title, to extend opportunity to the disadvantaged and the handicapped.


§1004. Supervisory and other managerial organizations[edit]

(a) It shall be the policy of the Postal Service to provide compensation, working conditions, and career opportunities that will assure the attraction and retention of qualified and capable supervisory and other managerial personnel; to provide adequate and reasonable differentials in rates of pay between employees in the clerk and carrier grades in the line work force and supervisory and other managerial personnel; to establish and maintain continuously a program for all such personnel that reflects the essential importance of a well-trained and well-motivated force to improve the effectiveness of postal operations; and to promote the leadership status of such personnel with respect to rank-and-file employees, recognizing that the role of such personnel in primary level management is particularly vital to the process of converting general postal policies into successful postal operations.

(b) The Postal Service shall provide a program for consultation with recognized organizations of supervisory and other managerial personnel who are not subject to collective-bargaining agreements under chapter 12 of this title. Upon presentation of evidence satisfactory to the Postal Service that a supervisory organization represents a majority of supervisors, that an organization (other than an organization representing supervisors) represents at least 20 percent of postmasters, or that a managerial organization (other than an organization representing supervisors or postmasters) represents a substantial percentage of managerial employees, such organization or organizations shall be entitled to participate directly in the planning and development of pay policies and schedules, fringe benefit programs, and other programs relating to supervisory and other managerial employees.

(c)(1) The Postal Service and the supervisors' organization shall, unless otherwise mutually agreed to, meet at least once each month to implement the consultation and direct participation procedures of subsection (b) of this section.

(2)(A) At least 7 days before each meeting, each party shall—

(i) provide notice of agenda items, and

(ii) describe in detail the proposals such party will make with respect to each such item.


(B) Grievances of individual employees shall not be matters which may be included as agenda items under this paragraph.

(d)(1) In order to facilitate consultation and direct participation by the supervisors' organization in the planning and development of programs under subsection (b) of this section which affect members of the supervisors' organization, the Postal Service shall—

(A) provide in writing a description of any proposed program and the reasons for it;

(B) give the organization at least 60 days (unless extraordinary circumstances require earlier action) to review and make recommendations with respect to the program; and

(C) give any recommendation from the organization full and fair consideration in deciding whether or how to proceed with the program.


(2) If the Postal Service decides to implement a program described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Postal Service shall before such implementation—

(A) give the supervisors' organization details of its decision to implement the program, together with the information upon which the decision is based;

(B) give the organization an opportunity to make recommendations with respect to the program; and

(C) give such recommendations full and fair consideration, including the providing of reasons to the organization if any of such recommendations are rejected.


(3) If a program described in paragraph (1) of this subsection is implemented, the Postal Service shall—

(A) develop a method for the supervisors' organization to participate in further planning and development of the program, and

(B) give the organization adequate access to information to make that participation productive.


(4) The Postal Service and the supervisors' organization may, by agreement, adopt procedures different from those provided by this subsection.

(e)(1) The Postal Service shall, within 45 days of each date on which an agreement is reached on a collective bargaining agreement between the Postal Service and the bargaining representative recognized under section 1203 of this title which represents the largest number of employees, make a proposal for any changes in pay policies and schedules and fringe benefit programs for members of the supervisors' organization which are to be in effect during the same period as covered by such agreement.

(2) The Postal Service and the supervisors' organization shall strive to resolve any differences concerning the proposal described in paragraph (1) of this subsection under the procedures provided for, or adopted under, subsection (d) of this section.

(3) The Postal Service shall provide its decision concerning changes proposed under paragraph (1) of this subsection to the supervisors' organization within 90 days following the submission of the proposal.

(f)(1) If, notwithstanding the mutual efforts required by subsection (e) of this section, the supervisors' organization believes that the decision of the Postal Service is not in accordance with the provisions of this title, the organization may, within 10 days following its receipt of such decision, request the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to convene a factfinding panel (hereinafter referred to as the "panel") concerning such matter.

(2) Within 15 days after receiving a request under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service shall provide a list of 7 individuals recognized as experts in supervisory and managerial pay policies. Each party shall designate one individual from the list to serve on the panel. If, within 10 days after the list is provided, either of the parties has not designated an individual from the list, the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service shall make the designation. The first two individuals designated from the list shall meet within 5 days and shall designate a third individual from the list. The third individual shall chair the panel. If the two individuals designated from the list are unable to designate a third individual within 5 days after their first meeting, the Director shall designate the third individual.

(3)(A) The panel shall recommend standards for pay policies and schedules and fringe benefit programs affecting the members of the supervisors' organization for the period covered by the collective bargaining agreement specified in subsection (e)(1) of this section. The standards shall be consistent with the policies of this title, including sections 1003(a) and 1004(a) of this title.

(B) The panel shall, consistent with such standards, make appropriate recommendations concerning the differences between the parties on such policies, schedules, and programs.

(4) The panel shall make its recommendation no more than 30 days after its appointment, unless the Postal Service and the supervisors' organization agree to a longer period. The panel shall hear from the Postal Service and the supervisors' organization in such a manner as it shall direct. The cost of the panel shall be borne equally by the Postal Service and the supervisors' organization.

(5) Not more than 15 days after the panel has made its recommendation, the Postal Service shall provide the supervisors' organization its final decision on the matters covered by factfinding under this subsection. The Postal Service shall give full and fair consideration to the panel's recommendation and shall explain in writing any differences between its final decision and the panel's recommendation.

(g) Not earlier than 3 years after the date of the enactment of this subsection, and from time to time thereafter, the Postal Service or the supervisors' organization may request, by written notice to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and to the other party, the creation of a panel to review the effectiveness of the procedures and the other provisions of this section and the provisions of section 1003 of this title. The panel shall be designated in accordance with the procedure established in subsection (f)(2) of this section. The panel shall make recommendations to the Congress for changes in this title as it finds appropriate.

(h)(1) In order to ensure that postmasters and postmasters' organizations are afforded the same rights under this section as are afforded to supervisors and the supervisors' organization, subsections (c) through (g) shall be applied with respect to postmasters and postmasters' organizations—

(A) by substituting "postmasters' organization" for "supervisors' organization" each place it appears; and

(B) if 2 or more postmasters' organizations exist, by treating such organizations as if they constituted a single organization, in accordance with such arrangements as such organizations shall mutually agree to.


(2) If 2 or more postmasters' organizations exist, such organizations shall, in the case of any factfinding panel convened at the request of such organizations (in accordance with paragraph (1)(B)), be jointly and severally liable for the cost of such panel, apart from the portion to be borne by the Postal Service (as determined under subsection (f)(4)).

(i) For purposes of this section—

(1) "supervisors' organization" means the organization recognized by the Postal Service under subsection (b) of this section as representing a majority of supervisors;

(2) "members of the supervisors' organization" means employees of the Postal Service who are recognized under an agreement between the Postal Service and the supervisors' organization as represented by such organization;

(3) "postmaster" means an individual who is the manager in charge of the operations of a post office, with or without the assistance of subordinate managers or supervisors;

(4) "postmasters' organization" means an organization recognized by the Postal Service under subsection (b) as representing at least 20 percent of postmasters; and

(5) "members of the postmasters' organization" shall be considered to mean employees of the Postal Service who are recognized under an agreement—

(A) between the Postal Service and the postmasters' organization as represented by the organization; or

(B) in the circumstance described in subsection (h)(1)(B), between the Postal Service and the postmasters' organizations (acting in concert) as represented by either or any of the postmasters' organizations involved.


§1005. Applicability of laws relating to Federal employees[edit]

(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the provisions of chapter 75 of title 5 shall apply to officers and employees of the Postal Service except to the extent of any inconsistency with—

(A) the provisions of any collective-bargaining agreement negotiated on behalf of and applicable to them; or

(B) procedures established by the Postal Service and approved by the Civil Service Commission.


(2) The provisions of title 5 relating to a preference eligible (as that term is defined under section 2108(3) of such title) shall apply to an applicant for appointment and any officer or employee of the Postal Service in the same manner and under the same conditions as if the applicant, officer, or employee were subject to the competitive service under such title. The provisions of this paragraph shall not be modified by any program developed under section 1004 of this title or any collective-bargaining agreement entered into under chapter 12 of this title.

(3) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to those individuals appointed under sections 202, 204, and 1001(c) of this title.

(4)(A) Subchapter II of chapter 75 of title 5 shall apply—

(i) to any preference eligible in the Postal Service who is an employee within the meaning of section 7511(a)(1)(B) of such title; and

(ii) to any other individual who—

(I) is in the position of a supervisor or a management employee in the Postal Service, or is an employee of the Postal Service engaged in personnel work in other than a purely nonconfidential clerical capacity; and

(II) has completed 1 year of current continuous service in the same or similar positions.


(B)(i) The second sentence of paragraph (2) of this subsection applies with respect to the provisions of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, to the extent that such provisions relate to preference eligibles.

(ii) The provisions of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall not, to the extent that such provisions relate to an individual under clause (ii) of such subparagraph, be modified by any program developed under section 1004 of this title.

(b)(1) Except as provided under paragraph (2), section 5941 of title 5 shall apply to the Postal Service. Except as provided under paragraph (2), for purposes of section 5941 of that title, the pay of officers and employees of the Postal Service shall be considered to be fixed by statute, and the basic pay of an employee shall be the pay (but not any allowance or benefit) of that officer or employee established in accordance with the provisions of this title.

(2) On and after the date of enactment of the Non-Foreign Area Retirement Equity Assurance Act of 2009—

(A) the provisions of that Act and section 5941 of title 5 shall apply to officers and employees covered by section 1003(b) and (c) whose duty station is in a nonforeign area; and

(B) with respect to officers and employees of the Postal Service (other than those officers and employees described under subparagraph (A)) of 1 section 1916(b)(2) of that Act shall apply.

(c) Officers and employees of the Postal Service shall be covered by subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, relating to compensation for work injuries.

(d)(1) Officers and employees of the Postal Service (other than the Governors) shall be covered by chapters 83 and 84 of title 5. The Postal Service shall withhold from pay and shall pay into the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund the amounts specified in or determined under such chapter 83 and subchapter II of such chapter 84, respectively. The Postal Service shall pay into the Federal Retirement Thrift Savings Fund the amounts specified in or determined under subchapters III and VII of such chapter 84.

(2) The provisions of subsections (i) and (m)(2) of section 8344 and subsections (f) and (j)(2) of section 8468 of title 5 shall apply with respect to the Postal Service. For purposes of so applying such provisions—

(A) any reference in such provisions to the head of an Executive agency shall be considered a reference to the Postmaster General; and

(B) any reference in such provisions to an employee shall be considered a reference to an officer or employee of the Postal Service.


(e) Sick and annual leave, and compensatory time of officers and employees of the Postal Service, whether accrued prior to or after commencement of operations of the Postal Service, shall be obligations of the Postal Service under the provisions of this chapter.

(f) Compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment in effect immediately prior to the effective date of this section, whether provided by statute or by rules and regulations of the former Post Office Department or the executive branch of the Government of the United States, shall continue to apply to officers and employees of the Postal Service, until changed by the Postal Service in accordance with this chapter and chapter 12 of this title. Subject to the provisions of this chapter and chapter 12 of this title, the provisions of subchapter I of chapter 85 and chapters 87, 89, 89A, and 89B of title 5 shall apply to officers and employees of the Postal Service, unless varied, added to, or substituted for, under this subsection. No variation, addition, or substitution with respect to fringe benefits shall result in a program of fringe benefits which on the whole is less favorable to the officers and employees than fringe benefits in effect on the effective date of this section, and as to officers and employees for whom there is a collective-bargaining representative, no such variation, addition, or substitution shall be made except by agreement between the collective-bargaining representative and the Postal Service.


§1006. Right of transfer[edit]

Officers and employees in the postal career service of the Postal Service shall be eligible for promotion or transfer to any other position in the Postal Service or the executive branch of the Government of the United States for which they are qualified. The authority given by this section shall be used to provide a maximum degree of career promotion opportunities for officers and employees and to insure continued improvement of postal services.


§1007. Seniority for employees in rural service[edit]

Subject to agreements made under chapter 12 of this title, the seniority of an employee of the Postal Service occupying a position whose regular duty involves the collection and delivery of mail on a rural route shall be preserved. Seniority for such employee shall commence on the first day of his service in such a position, or, in the event such an employee transfers to another such position, on the day he enters duty in the other position. Upon initial assignment, such an employee shall be assigned to the least desirable route and shall attain assignment to more desirable routes by seniority. Promotions and assignments for such an employee in such position shall be based on seniority and ability. If ability be sufficient, seniority shall govern.

§1008. Temporary employees or carriers[edit]

(a) A person temporarily employed to deliver mail is deemed an employee of the Postal Service and is subject to the provisions of chapter 83 of title 18 to the same extent as other employees of the Postal Service.

(b) Any person, when engaged in carrying mail under contract with the Postal Service, or employed by the Postal Service, is deemed a carrier or person entrusted with the mail and having custody thereof, within the meaning of sections 1701, 1708, and 2114 of title 18.

§1009. Personnel not to receive fees[edit]

An officer or employee of the Postal Service may not receive any fee or perquisite from a patron of the Postal Service on account of the duties performed by virtue of his appointment, except as authorized by law.

§1010. Administration of oaths related to postal inspection matters[edit]

Officers and employees of the Postal Service performing duties related to the inspection of postal matters may administer oaths required or authorized by law or regulation with respect to any matter coming before them in the performance of their official duties.

§1011. Oath of office[edit]

Before entering upon their duties and before receiving any salary, all officers and employees of the Postal Service shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation:

"I, ________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter."


A person authorized to administer oaths by the laws of the United States, including section 2903 of title 5, or of a State or territory, or an officer, civil or military, holding a commission under the United States, or any officer or employee of the Postal Service designated by the Board may administer and certify the oath or affirmation.