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Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act

01/01/2016 - (This article first appeared in the January-February 2016 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

President Obama signed the Wounded Warrior Federal Leave Act of 2015 into law on Nov. 5. After passing the House in a voice vote on Sept. 28, the bipartisan bill was approved by “unanimous consent” in the Senate on Oct. 26. The bill was initially introduced in the House in January 2015 by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) with 33 co-sponsors, including 27 Democrats, and six Republicans.

Disability Compensation

11/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the November/December 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Disability compensation is a monthly, tax-free benefit paid to veterans because of injuries or diseases that were incurred or were aggravated by military service. Both physical and mental health conditions are included.

Compensation is also payable for post-service disabilities that are considered secondary or presumed related to service-connected disabilities. Certain veterans disabled from VA healthcare may also be eligible to receive this benefit.

Workers Comp Fraud Investigations

11/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the November/December 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Special agents of the Postal Service Office of the Inspector General (OIG) are contracted to “safeguard postal revenue” and are supposed to “operate with integrity, be a model of ethical behavior, and treat people in a fair and respectful manner.”

When it comes to workers compensation fraud, however, these law enforcement officers often employ questionable tactics and exercise little fiducial responsibility: They have been cited by the Department of Labor (DOL) for violating federal regulations while conducting fraud investigations involving injured workers. Agents also have been performing claim management functions rather than ascertaining whether crimes occurred.

Workers Comp Fraud Investigations

11/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the November/December 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Special agents of the Postal Service Office of the Inspector General (OIG) are contracted to “safeguard postal revenue” and are supposed to “operate with integrity, be a model of ethical behavior, and treat people in a fair and respectful manner.”

When it comes to workers compensation fraud, however, these law enforcement officers often employ questionable tactics and exercise little fiducial responsibility: They have been cited by the Department of Labor (DOL) for violating federal regulations while conducting fraud investigations involving injured workers. Agents also have been performing claim management functions rather than ascertaining whether crimes occurred.

 

APWU Web News Article 155-2015

On the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act:

The Fight for the Right to Vote Rages On

08/04/2015 -

On Aug. 6, the APWU will join with others across the country to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and rededicate ourselves to the fight to protect the right to vote. 

APWU President Mark Dimondstein is urging locals and state organizations to participate in a National Day of Action on Aug. 6 to commemorate the historic occasion and to highlight the need to restore the voting rights of our nation’s citizens.  Locals are being asked to post notices on their websites, Facebook and Twitter, send messages to their email lists, and encourage union members to spread the word. Samples were provided by Democracy Initiative, which is organizing the observance of the anniversary.

APWU Web News Article 125-2015

Postal Unions Object to Administration Proposal to Reduce Compensation to Injured Workers

06/16/2015 - In a June 15 letter, the presidents of the four postal unions asked the Department of Labor (DOL) and the White House to withdraw a proposal that would reduce compensation benefits to injured workers and urged the administration instead to work with federal employee unions and their allies in Congress to “fashion sensible reform” of the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA).

APWU Web News Article 118-2015

Assistance for Union Plus Program Participants Impacted by Texas and Oklahoma Storms

06/05/2015 - Union members living in areas impacted by the recent severe storms and widespread flooding in Texas and Oklahoma, and who participate in Union Plus programs may be eligible for financial assistance.  More than 20 people were killed as a result of the storms and in the Houston area alone more than 4,000 properties were damaged and 2,500 vehicles were abandoned.

Virginia Clerk is the Talk of His Town

05/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the May-June 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Tucked away in the western corner of Virginia, just across the Kentucky border, is the sleepy town of Pound.

On a frigid Tuesday morning this past February, most residents were snowed in – but not 46-year-old Mike Combs. The Pound post office clerk trekked two-and-a-half miles to work that morning so he could open up and serve customers.

In fact, the APWU member’s service is so outstanding that customer Shannon Phillips reached out to The Coalfield Progress to sing his praises.

Help and Hope for Veterans

03/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.) 

This winter, the APWU and community volunteers joined the Veterans Administration (VA) to give help and hope to veterans at the 19th annual Winterhaven Stand Down. This was the eighth consecutive year that APWU officers and staff participated in the event – providing assistance to hundreds of veterans in need.

More than 700 homeless and at-risk veterans were transported from area shelters and off the streets. When they arrived to the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center, volunteers greeted them with a hot breakfast and coffee, kind smiles, handshakes, words of encouragement and expressions of gratitude for their service.

Full Disclosure Required

03/01/2015 - (This article first appeared in the March-April 2015 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Postal employees are hardworking and giving. Many hold down two jobs. Some run a side business or help with a family business, while others volunteer for their favorite charities.

These activities are not something we would typically need to divulge, but the law requires individuals who are injured on the job and collecting wage-loss compensation (WLC) to disclose all sources of income, paid and unpaid work activities, business interests and volunteer services to the Office of Workers Compensation (OWCP).

Failure to report or attempts to conceal income and activities can result in forfeiture of benefits and criminal prosecution under the False Claims Act or other applicable laws.

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