Mistreatment of Mail

April 10, 2020
Certain kinds of federal agencies may be more susceptible to certain types of charges than others. For example, the United States Postal Service may see many charges for the mistreatment of mail for obvious reasons.

The agency proves this charge, with preponderant evidence, by establishing the following evidence:

  1. The appellant tampered with the mail as alleged
  2. The appellant delayed, obstructed, or stole the mail as described
  3. Elements of theft, if alleged.[1]

Mistreatment of mail can encompass a whole range of misconduct, including destruction, theft, and delay of mail. Generally, proof of this charge is fact-specific, but agencies typically get in trouble by alleging such charges as theft of mail and in taking the penalty presentation too lightly.

The MSPB may mitigate the penalty if the agency fails to prove a lack of trust with sufficient specificity. In Jefferson, the MSPB found that mitigation to a 90-day suspension was appropriate for theft of mail. In finding that the removal penalties were unreasonable, the MSPB determined that the agency failed to establish that supervisors would be unable to trust appellants so that they could effectively perform their duties.

The federal employee attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. are highly experienced in MSPB matters such as these, and are willing and able to assist you in your federal employment legal matters. Call or message us today to discuss your claim and learn how we can assist you.

[1] Jefferson v. USPS, 73 MSPR 376 (1997).

This blog and web site published by Melville Johnson, P.C. should not be used as a substitute for seeking competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney. Readers of this information should not act upon any information contained on this blog or website without seeking professional counsel.
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