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Updated On: Mar 09, 2009

Postal Policy

 

 

From Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) 17.8

516Absences for Court-Related Service

516.1 General

516.11Determining Nature of Court-Related Service

Installation heads ascertain the exact nature of court service and determine if the employee (a) is entitled to paid court leave, (b) must take annual leave or LWOP, or (c) is to serve in an official duty status. If a summons to witness service is not specific or clear, the installation head contacts appropriate authorities to determine the party on whose behalf the witness service is to be rendered. When the exact nature of court service is determined, records are annotated accordingly. (See Exhibit 516.11 for a summary of leave to be taken according to nature of service.)

Exhibit 516.11

Absences for Court-Related Service

Nature of Service

Court Leave

Annual Leave or LWOP

Official Duty

I. Jury Service:

blank

blank

blank

(A) U.S. or D.C. court.

x

-

-

(B) State or local court.

x

-

-

II. Witness Service:

blank

blank

blank

(A) On behalf of U.S. or D.C. government.

-

-

x

(B) On behalf of state or local government:

blank

blank

blank

(1) In official capacity.

-

-

x

(2) Not in official capacity.

x

-

-

(C) On behalf of private party:

blank

blank

blank

(1) In official capacity.

-

-

x

(2) Not in official capacity:

blank

blank

blank

(a) Postal Service a party.

x

-

-

(b) Postal Service not a party.

-

x

-

516.12 Explanation of Terms

The following definitions apply for the purposes of 516.

a. Judicial proceedings - any actions, suits, or other proceedings of a judicial nature but not including administrative proceedings such as National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearings and hearings conducted in accordance with 650, Nonbargaining Disciplinary, Grievance, and Appeal Procedures.

b. Summons - an official request, invitation, or call, evidenced by an official writing from the court or authority responsible for the conduct of the judicial proceeding.

516.2 Court Leave

516.21 Definition

Court leaveis the authorized absence from work status (without loss of or reduction in pay, leave to which otherwise entitled, credit for time or service, or performance rating) of an employee who is summoned in connection with a judicial proceeding, by a court or authority responsible for the conduct of that proceeding, to serve as a juror, as a witness in a nonofficial capacity on behalf of a state or local government, or as a witness in a nonofficial capacity on behalf of a private party in a judicial proceeding to which the Postal Service is a party or the real party in interest. The court or judicial proceeding may be located in the District of Columbia, a state, territory, or possession of the United States, including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

516.22 Eligibility

Court leave is granted to full-time and part-time regular employees. Certain part-time flexible employees are granted court leave as provided and governed by applicable collective bargaining agreements. Other employees are ineligible for court leave and must use either annual leave or LWOP to cover the period of absence from postal duties for court service but may retain any fees or compensation received incident to such court service.

Court leave is granted only to eligible employees who would be in work status or on annual leave except for jury duty or service as a witness in a nonofficial capacity on behalf of a state or local government, or service as a witness in a nonofficial capacity on behalf of a private party in a judicial proceeding to which the Postal Service is a party or the real party in interest. An employee on LWOP, when called for such court service, although otherwise eligible for court leave, is not granted court leave but may retain any fees or compensation received incident to court service.

516.23 Recording CourtLeave

The following provisions concern the recording of court leave:

a. Employees Other Than Rural Carriers. PS Form 1224, Court Duty Leave - Statement of Service, is prepared at the time an employee is authorized court leave. Instructions for preparing PS Form 1224 appear in Handbook F-1, Post Office Accounting Procedures, 823; in Handbook F-21, Time and Attendance, 353.3; and in Handbook F-22, PSDS Time and Attendance, 353.3.

b. Rural Carriers. When a rural carrier is on court leave, the postmaster records it as "Other" leave on PS Form 1314, Regular Rural Carrier Time Certificate, and describes the court service performed on the reverse side of the form. (See Handbook F-1, 445.5 for recording and reporting fees.)

516.3 Conditions Affecting Court-Related Service

516.31 Employee on Annual Leave

If an eligible employee while on annual leave is summoned for court service that qualifies for court leave or official duty (see 516.11), the employee's annual leave is canceled and the employee is placed on court leave or official duty for the duration of such court service. Employees who are not entitled to court leave or official duty must use annual leave or LWOP for the period of absence from duty for such court service.

516.32 Combination of Court Leave and Postal Duty

The following provisions concern combinations of court service and postal duty:

a. Employees Who Report for Court Service and Are Excused Early. If an employee reports for court service and is excused by the court for the balance of the day, or performs court service for only part of that day, the employee is entitled to full compensation for the day in question. An employee who would otherwise be in a work status is required to report to the postal installation for the balance of the postal tour of duty provided (1) an appreciable time of the tour is involved and (2) it is feasible to report to work and complete the tour. Combined paid court leave and postal duty may not exceed 8 hours.

b. Employees Who Serve a Full Day in Court. Employees serving a full day in court service are not required to report to their postal duties.

c. Employees Excused From Court Service for an Extended Period. Employees, including rural carriers, who are excused from court service for an entire day or days are not entitled to compensation for such days unless they actually perform service as postal employees.

No overtime is allowed for court service performed while an employee is on court leave or for a combination of postal work and such court service.

516.33 Accommodation of Employees Called for Court Service

The following provisions concern accommodation of employees called for court service:

a. Employee Options. Employees who are eligible for court leave and who have a conflict with court duty and work schedules have the following options:

(1) (Work their postal tours of duty in addition to performing court service.

(2) (Have their work schedules changed temporarily to conform to the hours of court service. (Employees who do not choose this option may not have their work schedule changed and are expected to report for postal duty upon completion of their court service.)

b. Performance of Postal Tour of Duty in Addition to Court Service. If employees work their full postal tours of duty in addition to performing court service, their court service is not charged to court leave as the court service is performed outside of their postal tours of duty. Accordingly, employees may retain any fees or payment received incident to such court service. If employees choose to work their full postal tours of duty in addition to performing court service, but are required to be in court beyond the starting time of their scheduled tours, they report for postal duty as soon as possible after completion of court service and work the remaining hours of their scheduled tours. The hours of court service that overlap the employees' scheduled tours of duty are charged to court leave and the employees remit to the Postal Service that portion of court fees received for the hours charged to court leave. The combined court leave and postal workhours may not exceed 8 hours.

c. Temporary Change in Schedule. Employees who choose to have their work schedules changed temporarily to conform to court service hours submit PS Form 3189, Request for Temporary Schedule Change for Personal Convenience, as soon as possible, together with PS Form 3971, requesting such schedule change to the appropriate postal official at their installation (see Handbook F-21, Time and Attendance, 232.23). Such request states that the schedule change is for the employee's personal convenience and is agreed to by the local union. Employees who exercise this option receive full compensation for the period of court service including any applicable night differential for the revised schedule.

516.4 Fees

516.41General

Employees may retain any court allowance in the amount of $25 or less per day on days court leave is authorized. Employees must remit to their supervisor amounts received in excess of $25 per day. Employees who are eligible to receive such fees are not authorized to waive the fee.

516.42 Court Service Outside of Regular Working Hours or Regular Working Days

Employees who perform court service outside of their basic workweek (on scheduled days off) or outside of their scheduled tour of duty, for which no court leave is granted, may accept and retain the jury or witness fees or payment received incidental to such court service.

516.43 Holidays

Fees received for court service falling on a holiday within an employee's basic workweek may be retained by the employee provided the employee would have been excused from regular postal duties on the holiday.

516.44 Annual Leave or LWOP

Employees who are on annual leave and do not change, or are not eligible to change, the annual leave to court leave or who are on LWOP for court service may retain fees or payment received incidental to such service.

516.45 Recording and Reporting of Fees

Postmasters record and report fees in accordance with instructions in Handbook F-1, 793. Other installation heads forward collections of jury or witness fees to the disbursing officer, Eagan ASC. If court service is to be performed in a state court, the installation head determines the exact amount of compensation received from the state.

516.5 Official Duty

516.51 Definition

An employee is in an official duty status (as distinguished from a leave status and without regard to any entitlement to court leave) if assigned by the Postal Service or summoned by proper authority to:

a. Testify in a judicial proceeding or produce official postal records on behalf of the United Statesor the District of Columbia. (Such testimony may be in an official or nonofficial capacity.)

b. Testify in a judicial proceeding in an official capacity or produce official postal records on behalf of a party other than the United Statesor the District of Columbia.

Note:Official duty means that the testimony the witness provides concerns the witness's specialized knowledge of Postal Service facts, procedures, or methods gained by performing his or her job. For example, a postal supervisor would be in an official capacity if called to explain how the Postal Service processes a particular class of mail. A carrier would be in an official capacity if called to confirm a delivery he or she made. On the other hand, a carrier would not be in an official capacity as a witness to a car accident, even if a postal vehicle were involved, because observing car accidents is not part of a carrier's job.

516.52 Compensation

Employees who perform witness service in an official duty status are paid their regular salaries as Postal Service employees, including any applicable night differential and overtime pay. In addition, such employees collect the authorized fees and any allowances for travel and subsistence expenses and retain an amount equal to actual allowable expenses. All amounts collected over and above the amount of the employee's actual allowable expenses are remitted to the postal official in charge (see Handbook F-15, Travel and Relocation, 9-1.2).

516.6 Witness Service in a Nonofficial Capacity on Behalf of a Private Party

An employee who is summoned to testify in a nonofficial capacity (as a private individual) on behalf of a private party is not performing official duty. The employee's absence is charged to court leave if the testimony is given in a judicial proceeding to which the Postal Service is a party or the real party in interest. If the Postal Service is not a party or the real party in interest, the employee's absence is charged to annual leave or LWOP.

 

 

From Handbook F – 15, Travel and Relocation:

Handling Expenses for Special Travel Situations

 

9-1   As a Witness

If you are on travel status as a witness, the expenses you are allowed to claim vary according to the reasons that you are serving as a witness.

 

 

9-1.1 While on Court Leave

If you serve as a witness while on court leave, you may keep any money you receive for travel and subsistence expenses. For the fees associated with witness duty, see Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM), Part 516.

 

 

9-1.2 While in an Official Duty Status

If you serve as a witness while in an official duty status, you are entitled to compensation from the Postal Service for actual allowable expenses (travel and subsistence) as if you were on regular travel. See the appropriate chapters of this handbook for information.

 

You may accept authorized witness fees and expense allowances, but you may keep only an amount equal to your actual allowable expenses.

                                        If the Witness Fee...         Then You

                                        a.  Exceeds your allowable  Must turn over to the Postal Service the

                                             expenses                        excess amount.

                                        b.  Does not cover your       May submit an expense report to cover the

                                             actual allowable expenses         balance. Be sure to specify the amount

                                                                                    you have already been paid and attach

                                                                                    your subpoena to the Receipt Report if on

                                                                                    eTravel or if using manual voucher to your

                                                                                    PS Form 1012.

 

 

9-1.3   While in Another Status

If you serve as a witness and are not entitled to be on court leave or in an official duty status, you may keep any fees or other compensation you receive for serving. For the fees associated with witness duty, see Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM), Part 516.

 

 

February 2004                                                                                                                       71

  9-2                                                                                                         Travel and Relocation

 

 

9-2    As a Juror

 

If you are on court leave, follow these guidelines to determine what payments you may keep and what you must turn over to the Postal Service:

 

a.        You may keep any allowances that you receive for a daily rate of $25 or less. If the allowance exceeds $25 per day, you must remit the excess to your supervisor.

 

b.           You must turn over to the Postal Service any payments from the court that represent a salary for your services.

 

 

9-3    At the Request of Another Postal Service Installation

 

If another Postal Service installation requests that you come for official business, meetings, or an interview, that installation must pay your allowable travel expenses.

 

For any other official travel requested by another installation, you must fill out an expense report. The installation requesting your travel gives you a memorandum showing the proper finance number for you to use. Be sure to attach a copy of this memorandum to your completed expense report and submit it to the requesting installation for approval. Use that finance number when completing your expense report and submit your expense report to the requesting installation for approval.

 

 

9-4    At the Request of a Government Agency~

 

When a government agency requests you to travel, you must obtain approval from your appropriate approving official (see Appendix C). The agency requesting your travel does one of the following:

 

1.           Provides instructions for billing the agency for your travel expenses.

2.           Provides instructions for reimbursing you directly for your travel expenses.

 

Follow their instructions for submitting your travel claim for reimbursement.

 

 

9-5    As a Representative of an Employee Organization

 

If you are a representative of an employee organization, you may be

approved to travel depending upon the purpose.

 

 

 

72                                                                                                                      Handbook F-15

Finance

HANDBOOK AND ELM REVISIONS

Payments to Jurors

Effective September 4, 2003, Handbook F-15, Travel

and Relocation, and the Employee and Labor Relations

Manual (ELM) are revised to change the policy regarding

what payments a juror may keep when on court leave. The

payment to a juror for actual expenses, including mileage

reimbursement based on miles driven, is not considered a

court allowance.

 

We will incorporate these revisions into the next printed

edition of Handbook F-15 and the ELM and also into the

next update of the online versions accessible on the Postal

Service_ PolicyNet Web site at http://blue.usps.gov; click

on More References, then HBKs or Manuals, respectively.

Handbook F-15, Travel and Relocation

* * * * *

9 Handling Expenses for Special Travel

Situations

* * * * *

9-2 As a Juror

[Revise the introductory statement and item a in subchapter

9-2 to read as follows:]

If you are on court leave, follow these guidelines to determine

what payments you may keep:

a. You may keep any allowances that you receive

for a daily rate of $25 or less. If the allowance exceeds

$25 per day, you must remit the excess to your

supervisor.

* * * * *

Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM)

* * * * *

5 Employee Benefits

510 Leave

* * * * *

516 Absences for Court-Related Service

* * * * *

516.4 Fees

516.41 General

[Revise 516.41 to read as follows:]

Employees may retain any court allowance in the amount

of $25 or less per day on days court leave is authorized.

Employees must remit to their supervisor amounts received

in excess of $25 per day. Employees who are eligible to receive

such fees are not authorized to waive the fee.

* * * * *

— National Accounting,

Finance, 9-4-03

 

 

Hours Codes Definitions - Payroll Journals

The following chart provides a listing of the hours codes used for timekeeping purposes within USPS timekeeping systems.

HOURS CODES FOR TIMEKEEPING

CITY TIME AND ATTENDANCE CODES

FOOT-NOTES

HOURS

CODE

TIME CARD CODE DESC

XFOOT

PAY MULT

FLSA

TCOLA RET BASE

HRS WKD

LV

HRS

PREMHRS

 

01

FLMA ANNUAL LEAVE

N

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

02

FMLA SICK LEAVE

N

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

03

FMLA CONTINUATION OF PAY

N

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

04

FMLA OWCP WOP HOURS

N

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

05

FMLA PART DAY WOP

N

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

06

FMLA FULL DAY WOP

N

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

07

FMLA SL DEPENDENT CARE

N

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

08

SICK LV DEPENDENT CARE

N

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

09

FMLA - RURAL CARRIERS

A

0.00

Y

N

N

N

N

 

24

ABSENCE WITHOUT LEAVE

A

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

28

HOLIDAY ANNUAL LEAVE

N

0.00

N

N

N

N

N

 

30

FULL LWOP HOURS (GEN)

A

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

31

PARTIAL LWOP HRS (GEN)

A

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

32

TELETIME

N

0.00

Y

N

N

N

N

 

33

GUARANTEE TELETIME

N

1.00

Y

N

N

N

Y

 

34

BEEPER TIME

N

1.00

Y

N

N

N

Y

1

35

XTRA STRAIGHT TIME

S

1.00

N

N

Y

N

N

 

36

GUARANTEE TELE OVERTIME

N

1.50

Y

N

N

N

Y

5

38

EXTRA 50% PREMIUM (ADJ. ONLY)

N

0.50

Y

N

N

N

Y

6

39

EXTRA STRAIGHT TIME (ADJ. ONLY)

N

1.00

Y

N

N

N

N

1

43

PENALTY OVERTIME PAYMENT

S

2.00

N

N

Y

N

Y

 

44

MILITARY LWOP

A

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

45

LEAVE SHARE - FAMILY (FUTURE USE)

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

46

LEAVE SHARE - PERSONAL

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

47

RURAL FREE SATURDAY TIME

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

48

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE PREMIUM

N

0.50

Y

N

N

N

Y

 

49

OWCP WOP HOURS

A

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

50

TRIPS (RURAL CARRIERS)

N

0.00

N

N

N

N

N

 

51

RURAL ACTUAL HOURS

N

0.00

N

N

N

N

N

 

52

WORK HOURS

A

1.00

N

Y

Y

N

N

1

53

OVERTIME HOURS

S

1.50

N

N

Y

N

Y

8

54

NIGHTWORK PREM HOURS

N

0.00

Y

N

N

N

Y

 

55

ANNUAL LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

56

SICK LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

1

57

HOLIDAY WORK

S

1.00

N

N

Y

N

Y

 

58

HOLIDAY LEAVE

 A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

59

PART DAY WOP

 A

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

60

FULL DAY WOP

 A

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

61

COURT LEAVE

 A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

62

GUARANTEE TIME

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

N

Y

7

63

LEAVE/NO-OT CROSSFOOT

S

0.00

N

N

N

N

N

 

64

RURAL RELIEF DAY EARNED

N

0.00

N

 

 

 

 

2

65

MEETING TIME

N

0.00

Y

N

N

N

N

 

66

CONVENTION LEAVE

 A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

67

MILITARY LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

3

68

GUARANTEE OVERTIME

S

1.50

Y

N

N

N

Y

 

69

BLOOD DONOR LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

2

70

STEWARDS DUTY TIME

N

0.00

Y

N

N

N

N

 

71

CONTINUATION OF PAY LEAV

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

9

72

SUNDAY PREMIUM

N

0.25

Y

N

N

N

Y

2

73

OUT OF SCHEDULE PREMIUM

N

0.50

Y

N

N

N

Y

4

74

CHRISTMAS WORK

S

1.50

N

N

Y

N

Y

 

75

LOANED TO HOURS (NO LONGER USED)

A

0.00

Y

N

N

N

N

 

76

NON-SCHEDULED CROSS-FOOT

A

0.00

Y

N

N

N

N

 

77

CIVIL DEFENSE LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

78

ACT OF GOD LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

79

NAT/LOC ADMIN LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

80

RELOCATION LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

81

CIVIL DISORDER LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

2

82

TRAVEL WITHIN SCHED HRS

N

0.00

Y

N

N

N

N

2

83

TRAVEL OUTSIDE SCHED HRS

N

0.00

Y

N

N

N

N

 

84

UNION OFFICIAL LEAVE

A

0.00

Y

N

N

Y

N

 

85

VOTING LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

86

OTHER PAID LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

 

87

RURAL RELIEF DAY USED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

88

NONBARGAIN RESCHED PREM

N

0.50

Y

N

N

N

Y

 

89

POSTMSTER ORGAN LEAVE

A

1.00

Y

Y

N

Y

N

FOOTNOTES

1.  Included in work hours on T&A and hours history but not on pay data file. (Bargaining unit RSC = N – non-bargaining unit RSC = E/FLSA exempt code = S).

2.  Hours traveled within an employee’s schedule (code 82) are included in the work hours field.  Hours traveled outside an employee’s schedule are recorded as code 83 but not included in the work hours field.  Hours entered as code 83 are added to work hours in the calculation of FLSA entitlement.

3.  Included in guaranteed time on T&A and hours history but not on pay data file.

4.  Included in work hours on T&A and hours history but not on pay data file with the exception of PTFs and casuals.  These hours are included in work hours on pay data file also.

5.  Adjustment only – limit of 40 hours a week. Excluded from FLSA calculation.  Hours worked over 12 per day or 60 per week and a timely grievance filed. Also used to pay additional 50% premiums resulting from any settlement when hours were not worked.

6.  Adjustment only - limit of 40 hours/week.  Excluded from FLSA calculation.  Employee improperly assigned to work holiday (full-time or part-time regular employees only).  Also used to pay hours at 100% resulting from a settlement when hours being paid were not worked.

7.  Crossfoot hours for APWU transitional employees when weekly work hours are 40.00 or less, but combination of work and leave exceed 40.00. These employees receive overtime for work hours over 40.00. -Does not apply to NALC (83-4). Effective PP 15/96, hours code 63 is used to crossfoot time records for EAS employees with an exempt code = N.

8.  Night differential hourly rates are paid to employees in rate schedule codes: A, C, M, N, P, and Q.  The applicable programs have been hard-coded with charts issued by compensation and are based on the fixed dollar amount specified in the applicable bargaining agreement. EAS night differential rate reduced from 10% to 9% effective PP15/96 and was further reduced to 8%, effective PP 02/2000.  Employees in rate schedule code T also have night differential based on 9%. 

9.  Effective PP 15/96, the Sunday premium rule changed for EAS employees.  Sunday premium for EAS employees will be paid only for hours worked between midnight Saturday and midnight Sunday.

*XFOOT LEGEND

    A = Add

    N = Neutral

    S = Subtract

 

 

Advanced Sick Leave

 

 

Advanced sick leave is designed to accommodate an employee who uses all available sick leave and then requests advance sick leave for a medical reason. When management considers a request for advance sick leave it bears the obligation to be both reasonable and timely in making a determination ELM 513.5 –

http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/manuals/elm/elmc5/elm510.pdf

 

 

Things to Avoid:

 

  1. Not having a factually-based good reason for denying an employee’s request for advanced sick leave.  Such as:

 

    1. Denying the request because it is believed the employee will not return to work but having no evidence to support that belief. Without evidence, you should have reasonable expectation that the employee will be able to return to duty and work at least long enough to repay the advanced sick leave.

 

    1. Denying the request because the employee has been absent extensively. Using the reasoning that the employee has been absent extensively may not be upheld if the vast majority of absences are for documented medical reasons.

 

    1. Denying the request because the employee abuses his/her sick leave. You must have evidence to show that the employee was counseled or disciplined for failure to maintain regular attendance.

 

    1. Granting one employee advanced sick leave when a similarly situated employee was denied advance sick leave. This is considered disparate treatment.

 

    1. Denying a request because the employee has insufficient annual and sick leave hours. This reasoning defeats the purpose of allowing advanced sick leave. Employees with sufficient sick leave hours do not submit requests for advanced sick leave.

 

Things to Consider:

 

  1. Make sure that the application for advanced sick leave is supported by medical documentation.

 

  1. Documented abuse of sick leave may be sufficient reason to deny a request for advanced sick leave. The evidence of abuse must show that steps have been taken by management to correct the situation – i.e., counseling, discipline.

 

  1. Sick leave may be advanced in cases of serious disability and ailment if there is reason to believe the employee will return to duty.

 

 


 
 
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