Adverse Action Legal Defense Plan

The United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA) is committed to representing the membership in all areas, including adverse actions. UPMA established the Adverse Action Legal Defense Plan (AALDP) for the membership to provide representation to active UPMA members in appealing adverse actions taken against them. In addition to adverse actions defined in ELM Section 651.71, the AALDP may also be used to represent eligible members in appeals of adverse actions under ELM Section 652.2 (EAS without MSPB rights). UPMA Members receiving notice of an adverse action (defined in ELM Section 651.71) should immediately contact the UPMA National Adverse Action Member Representative assigned to their chapter (see a list at Unitedpma.org). The Member will sign the "Adverse Action Authorization Form" and transmit it to the appropriate UPMA National Adverse Action Committee Member. The Adverse Action Committee Member will assist the Member receiving the proposed discipline in making a reply to the charges pursuant to ELM 651.74. Further management of the case is solely the purview of the Adverse Action Committee.

Adverse Action Member Representatives

MSPB/Administrative Court

 

When the Postal Service decides under ELM Section 651.75 in an adverse action that falls within the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) jurisdiction, the Member may apply to the AALDP for coverage. When the AALDP determines the Member to be eligible for coverage under the Legal Defense Plan, the relevant documents, "Designation of Representation and Subscription to Appeal form," and the required deposit must be submitted to UPMA National Office. In that case, the AALDP will refer the Covered Member to the designated UPMA Legal Defense Attorney. The designated Attorney and Covered Member then enter into an attorney/client agreement that governs the scope and means of the defense of the Member. The AALDP will not provide coverage or refer a Member to the Attorney if the Member has been convicted of or has entered any plea other than not guilty to a criminal charge other than a misdemeanor in which criminal charge is included in or directly related to the adverse action. Further, the AALDP will not provide coverage or refer a member to the Attorney if the Member has formally admitted to a law enforcement officer (for example, an OIG agent, Postal Inspector, Police Officer, or the like) that they committed a criminal violation other than a misdemeanor which criminal offense is included in or directly related to the adverse action. The Adverse Action Committee Member will remain available to provide technical assistance if requested by a criminal defense attorney retained by the Member.

With respect to appeals under ELM 652.2, it is expressly understood and agreed that UPMA does not authorize the Attorney to provide any legal services for said appeals beyond the issuance of the final decision of the Step 1 Official Action (per the March 16, 2016 version of the ELM and any subsequent versions of the ELM).

To be referred by the UPMA to its designated Legal Defense Plan Attorney, the Member first must sign the "Designation-of-Representation and Subscription-to-Appeal" form together with a check or wire transfer deposit and transmit it to the AALDP at the UPMA National Office

A Member charged with a criminal violation in state or federal courts must obtain the assistance of their own criminal defense attorney to defend against criminal charges.

 

Eligibility

To be eligible for AALDP benefits, you must be an active EAS member of UPMA for at least one year prior to the date of an initial proposed adverse action. The date UPMA National Office processes a Form 1187 determines the Member's effective date.

Scope

AALDP benefits may be used to appeal adverse actions (defined in ELM 651.71 and 652.2) as follows:

 

Removal and suspension of more than 14 days, furloughs without pay, and reductions in grade or pay.

The AALDP does not cover or provide representation for EEO claims (discrimination or retaliation) pursued by a Covered Member separate from an MSPB appeal of an adverse action.  However, if the adverse action appealed to the MSPB may have been the product of unlawful discrimination or retaliation, the Covered Member should confer with the Designated Attorney about whether a claim for discrimination or retaliation can be included in the MSPB appeal and, if so, the extent to which expenses for representation on that claim could be covered under the AALDP.

Except for Emergency Placement, a Member desiring representation of the Legal Defense Attorney must submit a cashier's check (or wire transfer) within ten days of a Decision Letter to the UPMA National Office in the amount described in the AALDP. Failure to adhere to this stipulation will disqualify the Member from the Plan. UPMA will pay expenses for attorney representation in the AALDP from the designated AALDP account. If the Postal Service settles the case before an official decision, UPMA will return any remaining amount from the required deposit to the Member. 

 

Misc.

 

For any decision regarding either the AALDP or Legal Defense attorney representation that may fall outside the scope of these procedures and guidelines or for further interpretation of these guidelines, the UPMA National Executive Board will conduct a review and determine the appropriate UPMA action. 80% approval of the UPMA National Executive Board is required before AALDP may be used.

In the event that the AALDP Attorney advises the UPMA National Executive Board that a case is not justifiable to pursue, the UPMA National Executive Board (with 80% approval) reserves the right to cease the use of AALDP.

 

Adverse Action Legal Defense Plan (AALDP)

Adverse Action Authorization Form

Designation of Representation and Subscription to Appeal

Due Process in the US Postal Service by Hartley D. Alley

Suggested for EAS or PCES employees, If requested, directed, or approached for an interview, the following should be your initial statement:

If this interview is part of an investigation of a criminal matter I request to be represented by an attorney prior to any interview. Until I have my attorney present, I do not agree to sign any document, and will not answer any questions. I also will not make any written or oral statement. I do not consent to any search without a warrant. If you provide me with a search warrant, I will not resist the search while reserving legal objections to it. 

If this interview is not part of any criminal investigation, I request to contact my UPMA representative for advice and to be present with me for the interview. I will appear with my UPMA representative and orally answer questions. I decline to provide any written statement and reserve my legal right refuse to answer any questions that may intend to incriminate me.  

 

Tamika Sykes
Sykes Law LLC
1700 Northside Dr. Suite A7-532
Atlanta, GA 30318