772 Management — Supervisor Action

Upon receipt of notification, the immediate supervisor contacts the responsible human resources office to assure continuation of appropriate benefits. This notification is made in writing regardless of the way the employee’s departure for the military service became known. Typical employee identifiers such as full name, pay location, and Social Security number are to be included.

Note: It is important to note that employees serving in the military and the Postal Service have a mutual responsibility under USERRA. Given the nature of the employee’s obligation and the operational needs of the Postal Service, it is essential that both parties make a good faith effort to avoid conflict. Employees must give reasonable advanced notice of pending military duty requirements to provide management time to arrange for coverage.

In the event that managers face a legitimate operational burden, they may contact the employee’s military command to express their concerns, and to determine if the military duty can be rescheduled for the reservist.

However, the military authority determines the schedule for duty. USERRA clearly reflects that the nature of duty, its time or frequency is not relevant to compliance with USERRA, as long as the employee has given proper notice and the time limits stated above have not been exceeded.

772.1 Notification of the Employee’s Rights and Obligations

Managers are responsible for notifying employees orally or in writing of their rights, obligations, and benefits before departing for and upon return from active service. This notification includes any appeal and grievance rights. However, this does not relieve the employee from the responsibility to exercise due diligence to request this information from management or the appropriate human resource office.

Additionally, the law requires that individuals on military duty are to be given the opportunity for career advancement as if they are actively present on the job. To assure compliance, local human resources offices need to include the following in the discussion as appropriate:

  1. Bargaining Positions. While on military service, employees continue to accrue seniority and may bid on positions that may become vacant during the employee’s absence. The following procedures apply:
    1. A written or electronic notice must be submitted by the employee to human resources, or if appropriate, to the manager–in–charge, such as Postmaster, indicating the employee’s interest to bid on specific positions.
    2. The bids should be processed and awarded in accordance with the appropriate collective bargaining agreement (CBA) as if the employee is actively employed. If awarded, a personnel action needs to be initiated to place the employee in the newly gained position and pay scale to assure that seniority is credited as specified by the appropriate CBA.
    3. Unsuccessful bids are retained until the desired position is gained or the employee resumes active employment upon return from military duty. Training will be deferred for employees who gain a position for which there is contractually required training until they return.
    4. Upon return, the employee will be required to meet the training requirements pursuant to the respective collective bargaining agreement. No personnel action is to be initiated until the training requirement is completed. In these cases, every effort must be made to train the employee upon return to work. The employee would only be awarded the position upon satisfactory completion of the required training. Human resources must maintain an audit trail documenting the bid submissions.
  2. Nonbargaining Positions. Nonbargaining and bargaining employees on military service who are interested in being considered for EAS positions are required to submit completed Forms 991 for specific position descriptions to human resources reflecting the desired positions and locations. Human resources will activate the application as soon as the desired position and location has a vacancy. The application is considered in accordance with the EAS selection policies for local and national positions and in accordance with the area of consideration noted on the announcement. Applications resulting in a nonselection are considered as vacancies occur in the specified occupation, until the applicant has been successfully selected. Applications from employees who are on active duty with the uniformed services are accepted at any time for subsequent consideration when an appropriate vacancy is announced. In addition, the following provisions apply:
    1. Reassignment requests. EAS employees on active duty may also request reassignments to lateral or lower level positions in accordance with the EAS selection policy.
    2. When personnel action should be effected. Selected individuals will be placed in the new position and the appropriate pay level by initiating a personnel action while in the LWOP status.
    3. Return from military duty. Upon return from the military service, the responsibility for submitting bids or applications for EAS positions reverts to the employee.

772.2 Audit Trail

Human resources must establish and retain an audit trail of the selection activity.

772.3 Personnel Action

Employees called for active duty are to be placed in a LWOP status, using NOA–460 and Special Benefit Code U as stated in CMS Update 97.70, dated December 5,1997.

Individuals who exercise a written option to resign with the intention of not returning to the Postal Service must be advised that their restoration rights are not affected by the resignation. In these cases, a resignation military, NOA–313, is to be initiated. These individuals will be restored to employment and are entitled to seniority as if they had never left for military service. However, they forfeit the nonseniority based employment benefits they would have earned during the period of military service if they had not resigned and had opted instead to go on LWOP. Employees should be advised that they forfeit nonseniority rights if they elect to resign their employment, but later seek reemployment following military service.