936 Payments

936.1 Limitations on Payments

936.11 Total Yearly Payments

Total payments for an employee during an allowance year may not exceed the maximum allowance prescribed except as indicated in 935.25.

936.12 Insufficient Funds for Claims

Payment is not made for a purchase made in excess of an employee’s yearly allowance. Employees must be particularly careful not to have merchandise invoiced before their anniversary date if the current year’s allowance has been exhausted.

936.13 Related Expenses

Payment is neither claimed nor made for expenses involved in the purchase of secondhand items of uniform nor for cleaning, repairs, or alterations (except alterations made at the time of purchase for the sole purpose of ensuring proper fit).

936.14 Items Not Specified

All branches of service have specific detailed specifications for the style and color of their particular uniforms. Detailed specifications and styles are prescribed for both male and female uniform items of clothing in each specific category of employment. Payment is neither claimed nor made for any items of clothing that do not conform with the detailed male or female specifications and styles for the employee’s category of employment.

936.15 Purchases Exceeding Allowances

Each employee is personally responsible to the authorized licensed vendor for all purchases exceeding his or her uniform allowance. In cases where employees purchase in excess of their full allowance or existing allowance balance, the full licensed vendor invoice is processed regardless of amount (even if records show a zero balance in the employee’s allowance). The St. Louis ASC pays only the maximum left in employee’s account and notifies the vendor why the remainder has not been paid.

936.2 Payment for Uniform Purchase After Separation of Employee

Payment to the vendor is not allowed if the following conditions exist:

  1. The employee separates from the uniform program for any reason, including retirement, within 30 days following purchase of items of uniform wear that are not recognizable as distinctive uniform items unless worn with the basic outer garments of the uniform. In these cases notify both employee and specific vendor involved. Return the invoice to the vendor (see 936.32). Nondistinctive items include shoes, gloves, rubbers, galoshes, overboots, hose, face masks, pith helmets, and belts.
  2. When there is evidence that, before making the purchase, the employee indicated an intention to separate from the uniform program for any reason, including retirement, involuntary separation, or bid to an assignment not requiring the same uniform category, do not process the invoice for payment. After placing a copy of the invoice in the employee’s uniform file with the appropriate remarks, return the invoice to the vendor advising why it will not be honored.

936.3 Approval by Installation Head

936.31 Inspection of Purchases

The installation head may require the employee to present the uniform purchases for inspection within 10 working days from receipt of the uniform item. An employee who is unable to comply with this requirement because of being in an approved leave status may present the purchased items for inspection upon return to a work status. All items must contain the certificate label issued by the Postal Service Quality Control Office except as noted in 936.32. Discretion is exercised in permitting the purchase of excessive amounts of one–of–a–kind items, such as shoes, gloves, socks, and other civilian type items.

936.32 Purchases Not Meeting Regulations

If all or a portion of the merchandise presented in 936.31 is unacceptable because it does not conform to current postal regulations, the employees responsible for reviewing vendor invoices (see 936.53) returns the invoice to the vendor stating why it was unacceptable. The employee retains but does not wear the unacceptable merchandise and waits for instructions from the vendor.

936.33 Disallowing Payments

The district accounting office may disallow payment for excessively priced items, for items not needed for local climatic conditions, and for excessive amounts of civilian–type items.

936.34 Employee’s Responsibility for Excesses

The installation head cautions all employees that uniform purchases exceeding their current allowances are the employees’ personal responsibilities.

936.35 Notification of Responsibility

Although not responsible for purchases made in excess of an employee’s uniform allowance, the Postal Service advises employees in writing of their responsibilities to make payment when notified of delinquencies.

936.4 Separating Employees

936.41 Conditions for Nonpayment

Invoices dated before an employee’s separation date and submitted for payment are processed for payment. However, they are not paid under any of the following conditions:

  1. When purchases of uniform items not recognizable as distinctive uniform items were made within 30 days before separation (see 936.2a).
  2. When there is evidence that before making the purchase the employee indicated an intention to separate for any reason, including retirement (see 936.2b).
936.42 Addition to Form 337

Postmasters and installation heads add “Uniform Allowance Invoices Submitted” on PS Form 337, Clearance Record for Separated Employee, as a write–in item.

936.43 Employee Submission of Invoices

When an employee who is leaving the Postal Service checks out, the postmaster, or other designated employee, asks the separating employee if any uniform purchases have been made during the past 30 days. If the answer is negative, complete the item in the same manner as the other items on the checkout sheet. If the answer is affirmative, contact the district accounting office and advise the employee accordingly.

936.5 Payment to Licensed Vendors

936.51 Direct Payment

Payment is made directly to licensed vendors.

936.52 Employee Reimbursement

Employees are not reimbursed for uniform purchases except for caps (see 932.21) and as provided for in 936.6 and 938.4.

936.53 Examination of Invoice

The Uniform Program office may require uniform vendors to provide documentation to ensure that purchases are reasonable under all circumstances and that they comply with postal regulations.

936.54 Evidence of Purchase

The vendor must keep itemized sales records of the individual transactions that include the employee’s name, date of purchase, and a description of the items in the transaction — including size, color, and unit price. These records must be maintained for auditing purposes for a minimum of 3 years after the date of purchase.

936.6 Purchasing Procedures for Nurses’ Program

936.61 Eligibility

Full-time and part-time nurses who have completed their probationary period receive a uniform reimbursement card following their uniform anniversary date. Part-time nurses who have not worked at least 1,560 hours in the 12–month period immediately before their anniversary date are not entitled to uniform reimbursement.

936.62 Procedures
936.621 Standard

Nurses may purchase uniforms from Postal Service licensed uniform vendors. Payment to the vendor is made in the same manner as that for other employees eligible for uniform allowances.

936.622 Optional

Nurses who have difficulty in locating a Postal Service licensed uniform vendor that provides nurses’ uniforms may purchase their uniforms from any bona fide source in the following manner:

  1. Nurses must present itemized invoices to the district Human Resources manager for review to ensure that items are authorized for reimbursement according to Article 26 of the National Agreement. Invoices must include the following information:
    1. Name of employee.
    2. Name of the firm from which the purchase was made.
    3. Date of purchase.
    4. Employee’s Employee Identification Number.
    5. An itemized description of the items purchased, including size and color.
    6. A statement by the employee certifying that the items listed were actually purchased, and an explanation why such purchase could not be made with a licensed uniform vendor.
  2. The district Human Resources manager must submit the approved nurse’s itemized invoice to St. Louis Accounting Services for processing. The amount of the approved purchase will be deducted from the employee’s available allowance.