September/ October 2019LEARN MORE
The United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA) is committed to representing the membership in all areas, including adverse actions. The Adverse Action Legal Defense Fund (AALDF) and the Adverse Action Legal Defense Plan (AALDP) was established for the membership to provide representation to active UPMA members in appealing adverse actions taken against them. Postmasters and Managers receiving notice of an adverse action (defined in ELM Section 651.71) should immediately contact a UPMA National Adverse Action Member Representative (see a list at Unitedpma.org). The Postmaster or Manager will sign a “Designation-of-Representation-form” and transmit it to the UPMA National Member Representative. The Member Representative will assist the Member in making a verbal reply to the charges, pursuant to ELM 651.74. In addition to adverse actions defined in ELM Section 651.71, the AALDF may also be used to represent eligible members in appeals of adverse actions under ELM Section 652.2 (EAS without MSPB rights).
When the decision of the Postal Service made under ELM Section 651.75 in an adverse action falls within the jurisdiction of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the Member may apply to the AALDP for coverage. If the AALDP determined the Member to be eligible for coverage under the Defense Plan, 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 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 the Member has formally admitted to a law enforcement officer (for example OIG agent, Postal Inspector, Police Officer, or the like) that he or she committed a criminal violation other than a misdemeanor which criminal violation is included in or directly related to the adverse action. The Member Representative will remain available to provide technical assistance if requested by 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 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 his or her own criminal defense attorney to defend against criminal charges.
To be eligible for AALDF 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. Membership effective date is determined by date Form 1187 is processed at UPMA National Office.
AALDF or 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.
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 expenses for attorney representation in the AALDP will be paid from the designated AALDF. In the event that the case is settled with the Post Office prior to an official decision, any amount remaining from the required deposit will be returned to the Member.
For any decision regarding either the AALDF or Legal Defense attorney representation that may fall outside the scope of these procedures and guidelines, or for further interpretation of these guidelines, a review will be conducted by the UPMA Board who will determine the appropriate UPMA action. 80% approval of the UPMA Board is required before AALDF’s may be used.
In the event that the AALD Attorney advises the UPMA Board that a case is not justifiable to pursue, the UPMA Board (with 80% approval) reserves the right to cease the use of AALDF’s
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.
Hartley D. Alley
UPMA Legal Defense Attorney
23107 Fairway Brg.
San Antonio, TX 78258-7129