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Federal Workers' Compensation

The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers four major disability compensation programs which provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to certain workers or their dependents who experience work-related injury or occupational disease.

Here is a forum for members to share and exchange experiences regarding to workers' compensation related issues.


To read today's top news stories on federal employee pay, benefits, retirement, job rights and other workplace issues visit FederalDaily.com.
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Rivkah  
#1 Posted : Thursday, February 27, 2020 7:28:57 AM(UTC)
Rivkah

Rank: Senior Member

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Joined: 9/23/2014(UTC)
Posts: 251
United States

Was thanked: 46 time(s) in 38 post(s)
The Postal Service Fired Thousands of Workers for Getting Injured While Delivering and Processing Your Mail — ProPublica

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ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest storiesas soon as they’re published.

One night in 2009, Madelaine Sattlefield lifted an 80-pound tray of letters carefully sorted by Missouri ZIP code. She had done this task thousands of times in nine years, but on this night, her arm seared with pain and went limp by her side. The tray crashed and sent envelopes cascading around her. She could barely move but immediately worried about what an injury might mean for her job.

“Anxiety had kicked in. I was like, what are they going to say, what are they going to do?” Sattlefield said.

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Within months, the U.S. Postal Service fired her, one of about 44,000 employees who were either fired or left their jobs under pressure over five years in a program that “targeted” employees with work-related injuries, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A commission ruling on the class action complaint also found that the Postal Service discriminated against an additional 15,130 injured workers by changing their work duties or accommodations, and unlawfully disclosed the private medical information of injured workers across the country.

Now, more than a decade later, despite the ruling, the Postal Service is still fighting the class-action complaint. It has refused to settle, stating in its latest financial report that the case’s outcome could have a “material impact” on the agency. The EEOC plans to go case by case through about 28,000 claims, and the Postal Service is contesting each worker’s allegations, which could drag out the process for years. To dispute many of the claims, the Postal Service is arguing that the workers aren’t providing sufficient proof that they actually had disabilities or were harmed by the program.

“They never say die,” said Robbie Dix, head of the EEOC’s federal appellate program. In 48 years with the EEOC, the agency tasked with enforcing employment discrimination laws, Dix said he can’t recall another federal agency systematically targeting so many disabled workers. Their class action is among the largest the thinly staffed EEOC — which normally gets about 8,000 federal hearings requests each year — has handled.

The Postal Service ended its program targeting employees with disabilities in 2011, but years afterward, many workers are still dealing with its consequences. Some, like Sattlefield, had permanent disabilities. Many say they suffered financial and emotional harm.

Exactly how much USPS could owe the workers is unknown. The Postal Service’s latest financial report estimates $178 million in potential liability for its pending employment claims, including this case.

The legal review is unlikely to end soon. Once the EEOC completes its evaluation, the Postal Service can still disagree with its findings, opening the door to worker appeals.

A USPS spokesman declined to speak with ProPublica about the dispute. He also declined requests to discuss the agency’s injury rate and accommodations for disabled employees.

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Have You Been Injured Working for the U.S. Postal Service?

Tell us why postal workers are getting hurt on the job. We also want to hear about how USPS treats injured employees.




Rivkah  
#2 Posted : Thursday, February 27, 2020 7:31:30 AM(UTC)
Rivkah

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/23/2014(UTC)
Posts: 251
United States

Was thanked: 46 time(s) in 38 post(s)
Have You Been Injured Working for the U.S. Postal Service? — ProPublica

www.propublica.org

Working for the U.S. Postal Service can take a serious toll on employees’ health. To get thousands of pieces of mail sorted and delivered every day, workers have to lift heavy packages and huge trays of letters, walk miles carrying sacks of mail across their shoulders, drive in the heat without air conditioning or do other tasks that can wear down the body without proper precautions.

Postal workers make up about one-fifth of the federal workforce, but according to U.S. Labor Department data, they suffered about half of federal work-related injuries and illnesses in 2019, as well as 15 fatalities.

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The Postal Service Fired Thousands of Workers for Getting Injured While Delivering and Processing Your Mail

USPS forced out 44,000 workers who got injured on the job. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the effort, part of a five year program, violated the law. But the Postal Service has fought its workers’ claims since 2007.

We want to know more about why USPS workers are being injured. We also want to hear about how USPS treats injured employees. Last year, more than 1,300 workers filed complaints saying they were being discriminated against because of disabilities.

If you’re a current or former postal worker, please tell us about workplace safety at your site through this confidential form. If you’ve had a work-related injury or illness, we’re especially interested in learning how it happened and how your employer reacted. If you haven’t worked for USPS but have related insight — maybe you’ve worked for the Department of Labor or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or you’re a lawyer or worker advocate — we would also appreciate hearing from you.

If you would like to contact us a different way, here are a few options:

Phone: 202-886-9555Signal (a secure messaging app): 202-681-0779Email: maryam.jameel@propublica.org

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We appreciate you sharing your story and we take your privacy seriously. We are gathering these stories for the purposes of our reporting, and will not share your information with third-parties without your express permission. 

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