365 Separation

365.1 Administrative Considerations

365.11 Definition

Separations are personnel actions that result in taking the employee off the rolls of the Postal Service.

365.12 Effective Date of Separation

The effective date of separation is the last day the employee is carried on the rolls.

365.13 Standard Terminology

A separation from the service must be identified by the prescribed term. Care must be taken to use the term appropriate to the case, (e.g., death, removal, resignation). Standard procedures and terminology must be used in preparing personnel action forms.

365.14 Notice to Federal Employee About Unemployment Insurance

See 550.

365.2 Separations - Voluntary

365.21 Resignation
365.211 Definition of Resignation

Resignation is a separation at the employee’s discretion. Resignations must be accepted and are binding once submitted. However, employees are permitted to withdraw their resignation request provided the request to withdraw is made before close of business on the effective date of the resignation.

365.212 To Avoid Separation for Cause

If an employee submits a resignation after having been notified, either orally or in writing, that an adverse action has been proposed for removal, change to lower grade, or suspension for reasons furnished him or her, the resignation must be accepted. A resignation must also be accepted if an employee receives a written notice of decision to separate the employee for reasons given in a notice of decision.

365.213 Because of Illness

The following policies apply in cases of resignation caused by illness:

  1. 5 Years or More of Service. Employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System with 5 or more years of civilian service who resign because of illness must be advised of their eligibility to apply for a disability retirement.
  2. 18 Months or More of Service. Employees covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System with 18 months or more of creditable civilian service must be advised of their eligibility to apply for a disability retirement.
  3. Less Than 18 Months of Service. Employees covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System who have less than 18 months of creditable civilian service must furnish medical evidence supporting their claim to the installation head at the time of separation if their seniority on reinstatement is to be restored. The existence of such evidence should be annotated on the separation PS Form 50. The evidence itself is forwarded to the appropriate Postal Service medical official for retention.
365.214 To Perform Military Service

If a career or non-career employee seeks to resign postal employment to perform military service and does not intend to return to the Postal Service, he or she must be notified of the effect this will have on his or her restoration rights and benefits. Therefore, only Human Resources can accept and authorize processing of a resignation for military service (see EL-312 772.3).

365.215 Notice and Acceptance

The following policies apply regarding notice and acceptance of resignations:

  1. Written Resignation. Resignations should be submitted in writing. The employee specifies the reason and effective date. When possible, written notice of resignation must be given at least 2 weeks before the anticipated last day of work.
  2. Oral Resignation. If employees decline to submit written resignations, their oral resignations must be accepted, preferably in the presence of witnesses. The supervisor or other official who receives an oral resignation records the date received, the reason given, the effective date, and the names of any witnesses. This record, signed by the supervisor, is placed in the employee’s official personnel folder as a permanent record.
  3. Reason for Resignation. The reason for a resignation should be clearly stated in either a written or oral resignation. If the employee fails to give a reason for resignation, the supervisor enters the reason she or he believes the employee resigned. See 365.214 when the reason for resignation is to perform military service.
  4. Effective Date. When the employee sets an effective date of resignation to include a period of unapproved leave, the unauthorized absence may be charged to either earned annual leave or LWOP at the discretion of the appointing official. The employee is informed of the decision and given an opportunity to change the effective date. If the employee is resigning in lieu of an involuntary separation, he or she may not set an effective date for resignation that will occur after the effective date for the involuntary separation.
365.22 Separation–Transfer
365.221 Definition

Separation-transfer is an action by which career employees are taken off the rolls of a postal installation to permit their appointments to positions in other federal agencies without a break in service.

Contact Human Resources before processing a separation-transfer for an employee on military service. If the employee does not return to duty with the Postal Service, he or she has not been reemployed and is not eligible for transfer.

365.222 Effective Date

An employee who notifies the appointing officials of a pending separation–transfer may be carried in an annual leave (or nonpay, if no annual leave is available) status between the last workday in the postal installation and the entrance on duty in the other agency. No action is taken until notice of employment has been received from the gaining agency. The personnel action form is then prepared effective as of the close of business the day before the employee’s entrance–on–duty date at the new activity.

365.223 Replying to Requests for Suitability Information

When another government agency requests information on the suitability of an employee transferring from the Postal Service, relevant information contained in Postal Service records is furnished to safeguard its confidential nature and to protect confidential sources.

365.23 Separation, Retirement

See 550 and 580.

365.3 Separations - Involuntary

365.31 Removal
365.311 Definition

Removal is an action involuntarily separating an employee, other than an employee serving under a temporary appointment or a career employee who has not completed the applicable probationary period, for cause.

365.312 Effective Date

The effective date is the date designated by the official making the decision, but is not before the expiration of the required time limit for the notice period.

365.32 Separation–Disqualification
365.321 Applicability

This type of separation applies only to employees who have not completed their probationary period.

365.322 Reasons for Action

Separation–disqualification is an action that results from the failure to meet conditions specified at the time of appointment (such as failure to qualify by conduct or capacity during the probationary period). It may also result from information that, if known at the time of appointment, would have disqualified the employee for the appointment.

365.323 Probationary Period

Separation–disqualification must be effected during the probationary period. Action is initiated at any time in the probationary period when it becomes apparent that the employee lacks capacity for efficient service.

365.324 Who Initiates Action

Supervisors may recommend separation–disqualification, but such recommendations must be referred for decision to the official having authority to take the action.

365.325 Procedure in Separating

If an appointing official decides to terminate an employee who is serving a probationary period due to conditions arising prior to appointment, or because work performance or conduct during this period fails to demonstrate qualification for continued postal employment, the employee’s services are terminated by notifying the employee in writing as to why he or she is being terminated and the effective date of the action. The written notice of termination must at a minimum consist of the appointing official’s conclusions about the inadequacies of performance or conduct.

365.326 Effective Date

The effective date of separation must be before the end of the probationary period and must not be retroactive.

365.33 Termination or Separation of Non-Career Employees

An employee serving under a temporary appointment may be separated at any time after notice in writing. In determining the proper action for a particular case, the following criteria are used:

  1. Termination, expiration of appointment, is the term used to separate an employee who has reached the end of his or her term or whose services are no longer required.
  2. Separation is the term used when describing the discontinuance of the service of a non-career employee because of unsatisfactory performance that warrants termination from the Postal Service.
365.34 Separation–Disability
365.341 Definition

Separation-disability is a term used to indicate the separation of an employee other than a non-career or a probationary employee whose medical condition renders the employee unable to perform the duties of the position and who is ineligible for disability retirement.

365.342 Applicability
  1. At the expiration of 1 year of continuous absence without pay, an employee who has been absent because of illness may be separated for disability. This action is not mandatory, however, and if there is reason to believe the employee will recover within a reasonable length of time beyond the 1–year period, the employee may be granted additional leave in 30–day periods, not to exceed 90 days. If the employee’s condition indicates that LWOP beyond that period is necessary incident to full recovery, the postal official must submit a comprehensive report to the area manager of Human Resources with appropriate recommendation and retain the employee on the rolls pending a decision.
  2. An employee covered under USERRA who is hospitalized or convalescing due to a service-connected disability is required to return to work once recovered. The recovery period may not exceed 2 years (see EL-312 773(d)). Before any employee covered under USERRA can be separated for disability, the requesting postal official must submit a comprehensive report through the proper channels to the manager of Human Resources (Area), with appropriate recommendations. The employee must be retained on the rolls of the Postal Service pending a decision.
  3. If an employee on the rolls of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) is unable to return to work at the end of the initial 1–year period of LWOP, the LWOP may be extended for successive additional periods of up to 6 months each. Extensions are granted only if it appears likely that the employee will be able to return to work within the period of the extension. If it does not appear likely that the employee will be able to return to work during the period, the employee, upon approval of the area manager of Human Resources (Area), is separated subject to reemployment rights.
  4. Before any employee on the rolls of the OWCP can be separated, the requesting postal official must submit a comprehensive report through channels to the manager of Human Resources (Area), with appropriate recommendations. The employee must be retained on the rolls of the Postal Service pending a decision.
  5. If the manager of Human Resources (Area) approves the request, and if the employee has sufficient service for entitlement to retirement, the employee is not separated until given an opportunity to retire. For involuntary separation, the notice and appeal procedures outlined in 650 or the applicable collective bargaining agreement, whichever is appropriate, is followed.
  6. An employee who is eligible for disability retirement but chooses not to apply is not separated for disability until a complete medical report has been received and the employee has received retirement counseling.
  7. An employee who is eligible for disability retirement is not separated for mental disability. Rather, the appointing official files an application for disability retirement on the employee’s behalf provided the requirements are met (see 568 and 588).
365.343 Notice to Employee

No employees who have completed their probationary period are separated for disability until given a notice in writing of the proposed action and an opportunity to reply in accordance with appropriate adverse action procedures. Employees eligible for disability retirement are advised and notified that unless they file application for disability retirement within 1 year of separation their rights will lapse.

365.344 Effective Date

Separation–disability is effective on the date determined by the Human Resources official or on the date authoritative notice is received in the case of legal incompetence. If unused sick leave remains to the employee’s credit, the effective date may be extended to permit payment for the unused sick leave. If an annuity is involved, an employee may wish to evaluate an earlier annuity payment against the unused sick leave. Separations for disability may not be effected retroactively or before the date of expiration of the time specified in the notice.

365.35 Separation, Reduction in Force

The Postal Service procedure for effecting reductions in force parallels the OPM procedure. The Postal Service attempts to make personnel adjustments by various administrative actions other than RIF. If these actions are not adequate, however, and RIF appears to be appropriate, prior approval for such action must be obtained, through channels of communication, from the vice president of Employee Resource Management.

365.36 Death
365.361 Proof of Death

No action is taken to process the separation until credible evidence of death is received. Evidence of death is filed in the deceased employee’s official personnel folder. The time and date of a postmaster’s death should be reported immediately to the vice president of Area Operations and the vice president of Employee Resource Management.

365.362 Effective Date

The effective date of separation is the date of the employee’s death. Personnel action forms also show the last day that the employee was in a pay status.

365.363 Expression of Condolence

The appropriate postal official should express condolences to the survivors, including a sincere expression of sympathy, and an offer to assist in filing claims for any funds to the deceased employee’s credit.

365.37 Separation — Ineligibility for Reemployment under USERRA
365.371 Definition

Separation due to ineligibility for reemployment under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). This action occurs when the Postal Service determines that an employee who is performing or has been released from uniformed (military) service does not have reemployment rights under USERRA. This action is taken after the employee:

  1. Is denied reemployment; or
  2. If still performing military duty, informed that he or she does not have reemployment rights under USERRA.

After being notified, the employee is separated from Postal Service rolls administratively. This is not an adverse or disciplinary action and does not bar future federal employment. The employee may apply for reinstatement under Handbook EL-312, section 233.33, if eligible. (See Handbook EL-312, section 771.1.)

365.372 Effective Date

The official making the decision chooses the effective date for the separation due to ineligibility for reemployment under USERRA.