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Allegations: USPS Improperly Shorted Worker Wages, Unpaid Overtime

According to a report from NBC Connecticut, USPS is facing allegations of long-running shorting of employee wages. An investigation determined that at least 250 USPS managers working across several dozen branch offices systematically shorted workers on pay, including failure to pay overtime wages that were rightfully earned. In this blog post, our Connecticut wage and hour attorneys explain the allegations against the United States Postal Service. 

Report: USPS Systematically Underpaid Employees for Years

On August 31st, 2021 the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) released the findings of a comprehensive inquiry into the wage and hour practices of the United States Postal Service. The non-profit organization is dedicated to revealing abuses of power and corruption by large public and private institutions. CPI alleges systemic misconduct by the USPS and many of its managers. 

USPS Employees are Supposed to Work an 8-Hour Shift—But Extra Work is Often Required

As a general rule, USPS employees are scheduled for a standard eight hour shift. When mail carriers (or other non-exempt USPS employees) work more than eight hours in a day they are entitled to overtime pay—1.5x the amount of their ordinary hourly rate. For financial reasons, USPS does not want managers to authorize overtime pay. However, due to the nature of the job, mail carriers are frequently required to put in overtime hours in order to complete scheduled deliveries. 

Managers Were Caught Deleting/Adjusting Hours Without Filing Proper Paperwork

Here is the problem: Mail carriers log plenty of “extra” hours. However, instead of simply paying these workers the overtime wages that they earned, some USPS managers go into the computer system and manually delete or adjust hours. The CPI investigation has found many instances in which USPS managers failed to submit the proper paperwork when manually modifying employee hours. In effect, this results in workers being denied overtime pay. 

An Example of the Poor Wage and Hour Practices of the United States Postal Service

In its report on the CPI’s findings, NBC Connecticut highlights the story of Nancy Campos, a 59-year-old mail carrier for the USPS. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, she put in 13 consecutive hours, working hard to deliver mail, including a rush of Amazon packages. When her shift ended, she filled out her time sheet as required by USPS. She snapped a photograph of the time card. 

However, when she received her paycheck a few weeks later, she noticed that her hours had been adjusted. CPI alleges that she had six overtime hours deleted. The non-profit organization contends that this is far from a unique story. According to private arbitration records obtained by CPI, at least 250 managers at 60 USPS branch locations manually deleted employee hours without proper cause. 

Call Our Connecticut Wage and Hour Lawyers Today

At Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC, our Connecticut employment lawyers are strong, resourceful advocates for worker rights. If you were improperly denied overtime pay, we are here to help you fight for fair financial compensation. Give us a call now or use our online contact form to arrange a completely confidential initial consultation. From our Hartford and New Haven law offices, we represent employees throughout Connecticut.