System Name:
General Legal Records.

System Location

Law Department, USPS Headquarters and field offices; area and district facilities; Integrated Business Solutions Services Centers; Tort Claims Center; and Post Offices.

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System

  1. Current or former USPS employees who are parties to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) cases, or on whose behalf NLRB charges are filed by a collective bargaining representative, and other individuals involved in labor or employment litigation.
  2. Individuals who claim to be involved in accidents related to USPS operations and who seek money damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
  3. Individuals investigated for possible infringement of USPS intellectual property rights, including inventors seeking patents for devices.
  4. Individuals involved in other formal administrative proceedings or litigation in which USPS is a party or has an interest in which information or testimony is sought.

Categories of Records in the System

Records related to proceedings, including individuals’ names, Social Security Numbers, postal assignment information, work contact information, finance number(s), duty location, pay location, assigned case or docket numbers, and other details related to the nature of the litigants and litigation subject matter.

Authority for Maintenance of the System

39 U.S.C. 401, 409, 1206, and 1208.


  1. To provide legal advice and representation in NLRB cases, labor or employment litigation, and miscellaneous civil actions and litigation.
  2. To consider, settle, or defend against tort claims made under the Federal Tort Claims Act; to support program management by accident prevention and safety officers; and to provide pertinent information regarding safety, accidents, and claims to equipment providers and insurers.
  3. To protect USPS intellectual property and patents.

Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories of Users and the Purposes of Such Uses

Standard routine uses 1. through 9. apply. In addition:

  1. Tort claims records may be disclosed to members of the American Insurance Association Index System; to insurance companies that have issued policies under which the United States is or may be an (additional) insured; to equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and their insurers for claims considerations and possible improvement of equipment and supplies; and in response to a subpoena or other appropriate court order.
  2. A record may be transferred and information from it disclosed to the Patent and Trademark Office or the Library of Congress when relevant in any proceeding involving the registration of Postal Service trademarks or issuance of patents.

Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining, and Disposing of Records in the System


Automated database, computer storage media, and paper.


By name of subject individual, litigant, claimant, charging party, or individual on whose behalf a charge has been filed; case number, docket number, or topic title.


Paper records, computers, and computer storage media are located in controlled-access areas under supervision of program personnel. Access to these areas is limited to authorized personnel, who must be identified with a badge. Access to records is limited to individuals whose official duties require such access. Contractors and licensees are subject to contract controls and unannounced on-site audits and inspections. Computers are protected by mechanical locks, card key systems, or other physical access control methods. The use of computer systems is regulated with installed security software, computer logon identifications, and operating system controls including access controls, terminal and transaction logging, and file management software.

Retention and Disposal
  1. Labor litigation records are retained 5 years.
  2. Tort claim files are retained 7 years after final adjudication or other closure. Tort litigation files are retained 5 years after closure.
  3. Records of investigations of possible infringement of USPS intellectual property rights are retained 25 years after closure of the case.
  4. Records of miscellaneous civil actions and administrative proceedings are retained 10 years.

Records existing on paper are destroyed by burning, pulping, or shredding. Records existing on computer storage media are destroyed according to the applicable USPS media sanitization practice.

System Manager(s) and Address

General Counsel and Executive Vice President, United States Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20260.

Notification Procedure

Individuals wanting to know if information about them is maintained in this system of records must address inquiries to the system manager. Inquiries must include full name of litigant, charging party, or individual on whose behalf a charge has been filed, case number or docket number, if known, and the approximate date the action was instituted.

Record Access Procedures

Requests for access must be made in accordance with the Notification Procedure above and USPS Privacy Act regulations regarding access to records and verification of identity under 39 CFR 266.6.

Contesting Record Procedures

See Notification Procedure and Record Access Procedures above.

Record Source Categories

Subject individuals; their counsel or other representative; external authorities such as the NLRB, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or Merit System Protection Board; customers; police; postal inspectors; witnesses; American Insurance Association Index reports; and other systems of records.

Systems Exempted From Certain Provisions of the Act

Records in this system that have been compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding are exempt from individual access as permitted by 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(5). The USPS has also claimed exemption from certain provisions of the Act for several of its other systems of records at 39 CFR 266.9. To the extent that copies of exempted records from those other systems are incorporated into this system, the exemptions applicable to the original primary system continue to apply to the incorporated records.