Fallout from deleting postal workers overtime clock ring continues with federal lawsuit

The Richmond Main Post Office has forced employees to work off the clock, deleting or altering their hours to keep overtime low in violation of federal labor law, a lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court on behalf of 17 local letter carriers alleges.

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“At least in part due to budget reductions, management and supervisors are under pressure to keep labor costs down by not paying overtime premiums,” the complaint says. “On information and belief, supervisors are instructed and/or encouraged by management not to exceed certain labor cost thresholds and incentivized with bonuses for keeping overtime premium payments low.”

The suit says the U.S. Postal Service has slashed its staffing and labor costs by $10 billion over the past decade, making it difficult for carriers to finish their routes during their scheduled shifts.

Carriers have a half-hour deducted from their time in the postal service’s system for lunch, whether they take it or not, and supervisors have “deleted or altered” their clock-in and clock-out times in order to avoid payments required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The practice at the post office at 1801 Brook Road was discovered in October by mail carriers and led to an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General, an inquiry that “led to the suspension and/or separation from employment of multiple supervisors, the customer service manager and the postmaster,” the suit says. Read more

Richmond VA Postal Workers receive back pay, Postmaster and 5 postal managers fired

According to the lawsuit:

Plaintiffs are current and former employees of the United States Postal Service who work and/or worked at the Richmond Main Post Office located at 1801 Brook Road, Richmond, Virginia. The 17 city letter carriers and city carrier assistants are seeking to recover unpaid overtime compensation, and liquidated damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act for themselves and others similarly situated.

Over the past decade, USPS has cut its staffing and labor costs by $10 billion. At least in part due to the aforementioned significant staffing reductions, Plaintiffs, and all those similarly situated, are often unable to complete their routes and/or duties during their scheduled work hours. At least in part due to budget reductions, management and supervisors are under pressure to keep labor costs down by not paying overtime premiums. On information and belief, supervisors are instructed and/or encouraged by management not to exceed certain labor cost thresholds and incentivized with bonuses for keeping overtime premium payments low.

To minimize overtime payments Defendant has engaged in a systemic practice of not compensating Plaintiffs, and all those similarly situated, for all hours worked in violation of the FLSA.

The letter carriers, and all those similarly situated, are regularly required to work “off the clock” before and/or after they clock-in or out from the TACS system in order to complete their assigned duties in a given day. 29. Such “off the clock” work serves to keep the mail carrier under the forty (40) hours worked overtime threshold and/or reduces the number of overtime premium hours paid in
a week.

In approximately October 2016, the aforementioned practice of deleting/altering mail carriers’ time worked in TACS was discovered by certain Main Office mail carriers upon receiving and reviewing certain TACS records for multiple mail carriers. On information and belief, the discovery led to an “investigation” by the USPS Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) into the widespread practice of deleting/altering mail carriers’ time worked in TACS.

In November 2016, the OIG investigation led to the suspension and/or separation from employment of multiple supervisors, the Customer Service Manager, and the Postmaster

The OIG investigation led to back-pay payments being made by USPS to approximately ninety-nine (99) current and former Main Office mail carriers in December 2016.

Any such payments are not the result of a bona fide FLSA dispute, were not approved by a Court or the Department of Labor, do not compensate mail carriers for the full allowable time period(s), do not provide full back-pay and liquidated damages, and do not provide relief available to them under the FLSA.

48 thoughts on “Fallout from deleting postal workers overtime clock ring continues with federal lawsuit

  1. Great to see this is progressing along and crooked management is paying a price. Far to often we have seen garbage like these people promoted higher up the ladder when they get caught cheating the worker. This is a nice change.

  2. The union sold out the carriers by allowing them to be forced to deliver mail in the dark which is a complete safety hazard no way management could write anyone up for refusing to work in the dark, the union is to dumb to push this issue not realizing if they did more jobs would be created and more dues would come their way, not to mention much better service, I carried mail at the beginning of my postal time and we brought it back when it got dark or they sent help period no other option, shame on the union for letting this go on.

  3. RICHMOND MAINTENANCE DEPT…they are cheating people out of pay and changing work hours and the new manager is also stealing time by letting his smo,mmo having 2 hour lunch and just leaving the plant and going home or shopping ..someone should look into that also..OIG..

  4. with the comments suggesting it is an ongoing countrywide theft of OT, I find it real funny that the NALC lawyers has not submitted a legal brief to a Federal Judge about a common scheme and criminal plan of post office stealing employees OT money. something not rotten in Denmark, something rotten in Postal Union Land.Featherbedding! MisMgt, OIG, Postal Unions mum on PFP Bonus scam that is driving all this criminal behaviour!

  5. This gal got the ball rolling. She didnt take it. Being accused of fraud for being hurt on the job. How insulting is that? Not only were her superiors cheating her out of money, they were going to throw her under the bus for OWCP fraud. wow. She went straight to the OIG. Dont go to your local union who will only make them stop it, until next time, or possibly cut a deal, but go to those who can actually do something about it. This violates so many laws both federal and the Postal.

  6. Fire all those sups and mgr’s who are proven to have engaged in these types of dishonest practices.

  7. As of today, This continues to happen
    I worked 43.29 hours last week, I saw my timecard on the desk in a pile. He wrote my total as 28.29 hours!
    Cutting 15 hours I had worked, off my timecard, I immediately photo copied it and emailed it to union.
    Our postmaster has to pay us 34.50 an hour for his lying on his clerk hours.

    This fraud still continues. He hasn’t learned his lesson.
    I am fed up.
    My children are grown. I did not sign up to babysit my postmaster. If this is a requirement than I should be paid a higher level pay.

    • stop with your nonsense, if you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result than you are insane. if you want real change you have to Decertify the NALC and bring in the Teamsters. NALC is a company union……don’t know what that is then get off your butt and google it! all 4 postal unions are a 1% joke!

      • i retired from the po in 2005, tried to push for teamters 30 years ago, no chance, craft people will not challenge the apwu or nalc, they just vote the same type of people in, and many of them sell out craft to move on into management.

  8. My question to all the letter carrier with 15 years or more expire new about our state of our worthless union.
    1) Do you see our working conditions improving or you see our working conditions getting worse?
    2) Do you see yourself getting harrasement by management more than ever?
    3) Do you see yourself skipping your breaks and your lunches to appease mythical numbers from management?

    4) Do you see this pathetic union turning a blind eye to these atrocities?
    If you say yes to these scenario and then it is time for a shakeup in our union locally and nationally vote for David Noble in 2018.

    • NO! Mid-Island 117/119 PDC is the most criminal. OIG would need a skid of Bayer aspirin before they came here. real slimy bunch, OIG better bring Sherlock Holmes and Colombo in to investigate these thugs.

  9. Judging by the comments here, a nationwide timekeeping audit would be a good idea, and fairly easy to do. TACS began in the past 12-15 years, I believe, and pulling a report of adjustments alone would be a simple process. The next step would be identifying all managers who made adjustments and go from there. In some offices, a shady manager probably “shaved” time off of everyone, these are the ones who are the criminals and should be prosecuted.

    After the time keeping sweep weeds out and gets 30,000 managers fired, how about do a 991 (manager resume/application) audit, and fire those who fraudulently listed fake education and work experiences?? I know of a few in the past who bragged about making up such things, knowing the references would never be checked out.

      • Hey Gopher….I bet the OIG is in bed with the “PIG” Plant Manager…toss up some saddle bags on that old girl…oh wait she has her own..
        But seriously…That’s why nothing happens to them..All one big managerial circus under her big top with a bunch of those golden noodle rings to go around..if you get what I mean.

  10. How about this one. Our Lead MDO remarries a MM Maintenance
    employee. Somehow she gets promoted, has no experience, couldn’t
    fix her way out of a paper bag with openings at both ends, to Maintenance
    Manager over more experienced people. Her ex husband is out of work and not paying child support.The Lead MDO hires the ex husband so that they can collect child support. Awesome huh.

  11. Does anyone remember the Grotom case from the mid to late 1970’s? Not sure if I the spelling is correct. It involved the same issue & the USPS payed a lot of money to NALC members.

    • just look at PMG Muffin Meghan…..on the job 6 months as a letter carrier then goes on IOD……..and its off to the races.with 36 years in I have come to the correct conclusion that President Trump should cut it in two and sell it off to UPS and FDX. give older workers a buyout and let the younger workers work for a real company and not a bunch of career criminals.

    • Cutting the USPS into pieces could and may be done. The Constitution does state that there should be a “post office”, but it does not say who should be the Post Office. Since the government owns the USPS equipment and real estate, it would be a simple matter to dissolve the current USPS , and put the whole system up for bid, to be worked as a large scale contract. This could mean that several entities could be awarded the contract, and have different companies do different duties. All contracts would be voided, and all employees would have to reapple for work, if it would even exist. It would be, as the REM song goes, the end of the world as we know it.

  12. its funny we all write down what we see and how us postal service is doing things that are criminal and no one cares… what a company….

  13. Catch Me If You Can……..IOD Muffin Meghan gives me a blank check to turn the screw!

  14. Does anybody know how to contact the Attorney representing the workers? I believe we can make this lawsuit a nationwide lawsuit. This cheating employees of pay is a common practice

  15. Where hell are the NALC(local) union people? Perhaps,they”re sitting in offices,planning their next vacation or their upcoming; days-off? Or maybe they’re at home,sleeping late? Whatever,they haven’t been doing their jobs. Off-the-clock,USPS work in this case,were clearly more frequent;than several isolated incidences!!

    • What do you expect from the NALC? It’s been 8 months since the contract expired,and they have not taken any steps to get a new agreement by either mediation,arbitration or agreement.They are too busy with conventions and parties to deal with that stuff.

  16. Crap. This is nothing. How about Managers getting new jobs out of state,
    PO buying their houses, paying to move all their belongings, paying
    perdiem, and then the toolbags retire. How about nepotism. Unqualified
    toolbags getting higher paying jobs because they are related to Managers
    and other immoral, unqualified, unethical toolbags. Goes on everywhere.
    Powers to be seem to look the other way about these issues as they go on
    all over the country. The PO is the most corrupt agency in the USA. Billions
    are wasted annually. Mismanagement is rampant. It starts at the top with
    Meghen and the Muffen Tops. What a joke the PO has become. Good luck
    to all the new hires. Misery awaits!!!

  17. Same thing happened here in southern TN a couple years ago. No back pay for us at all, just reassigned the PM to a better PM job. Our union president talks a great game, then whimpers out when the shit starts to hit the fan!

  18. 10 years ago an accountant who had recently retired from suncoast district USPS was a whistleblower for this same thing . He pointed out the problem to a local t.v. station and it was quickly swept under the rug . Hundreds of employees were short changed . So this has been going on for at least a decade . What happened to management ? NOTHING but the usual promotions . Don’t you just love the place .

    • This has been going on ever since the Timekeeper position was replaced with TACS. They handed the keys to the supervisor, said do your own timekeeping… and they did. We used to have a system of checks and balances in place to cover possible fraud. Things still happened, but not to this magnitude.

  19. way to go…get all you are owed and more….postal service is doing this all over the country and only a few will pay the price for steal other peoples money…I know in the maintenance Dept at the Richmond PDC management is cheating on work hours to cut staff ..people are doing 16 hours of work in a 8 hour day and the postal service doesn’t pay overtime and steals the 8 hours that know one had worked …THIS IS JUST AS BAD STEAL MY MONEY OUT OF MY POCKET…why isn’t OIG doing anything at the Richmond plant???

  20. Isn’t it nice that the Federal, and state governments, have many laws to “protect” workers and consumers. However one must take the offender to court! If one wants their rights enforced, the citizen must do the enforcement. The government just collects taxes, not much else. Maybe pass legislation protecting business!

  21. It used to be, not more than a dozen years ago, that any time clock adjustments had to be okayed and initialed by the employee whose time was being altered. That seems to have gone by the wayside. I was a TACS clerk until they eliminated our positions, and saw clock rings being done all the time, some only a few hundredths of an hour, some over an hour. Unless an employee is on top of their clock rings, and compares them to their paycheck, unscrupulous managers could be stealing many employees without their knowledge of it happening. I would like to see a full scale investigation of clock rings, go back ten years or more, and make sure any manager who falsified clock rings gets investigated and fired, if found guilty. Theft is theft, and demands punishment.

  22. Right now the USPS is in talks with the National Association of Letter Carriers trying to reach an “agreement” in a new contract. There is no word on progress, something I find quite disturbing when in years past the NALC kept us more up to date on the discussions, where today we hear a few cliches (fighting to protect carriers’ rights and pay) and nothing else concrete.
    If I were running the NALC show, I would be very quick to accumulate as many instances of this out and out theft by management, and violations of the FLSA nationwide, track it down to those giving out the orders at the highest levels, meaning USPS Headquarters and Area offices. I would submit all evidence of malfeasance in anticipation of what will and usually ends up being arbitrated to prove management has no intention of being fair, honest, believable, or even lawful. Slash employees, plants and steal from craft because you’re too greedy and stupid to deal with the inevitable backlash.
    Any management proven to order such illegal activities, at the actual offices and higher should face severe labor violations charges and removal from the USPS.
    I must as a retired carrier advise letter carriers: if you insist on doing no lunches, keep diligent and accurate records of your work hours. Do not work one minute off the clock. Ever. It’s illegal as hell and you should report it to your steward immediately. If your local NALC is turning a deaf ear, report those officers to your Regional office and vote them out. Corruption is rampant, both in management, some bad carriers who do really stupid shit like deliver drugs on the job, dump mail, etc., and unfortunately some union officers who make Faustian deals with management and screw the employees they are supposed to represent.
    I ran my branch local as steward or president for 17 years and while I made my share of mistakes as I learned the ropes, and occasionally even toward career’s end, not being perfect, I always put my branch members first and never made “deals” to further my own position. No leader is perfect, but I do think a stronger smarter union with good people in office can really help curb the crap management will pull if they think they can get away with it.
    There are honest supervisors and PM’s out there – I know that – but when orders come from much higher up they are in a real vise grip. And don’t forget one of the most potent forces the worker has: the National Labor Relations Board. They can often stop bad things faster and more permanently than any union can.

  23. Thank Goodness these thieves amongst the management ranks have been exposed. They sit in their offices, talk about how lazy carriers are, take extended look lunches, fail to do their own required paperwork, ignore safety, falsify scans, etc… They are simply hypocrites themselves. Drastically reduce the ranks of management. Exploit technology to facilitate this. Then, Hire some Leaders instead of managers.

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