You hear about it a lot in the news lately — so many businesses having trouble fully staffing their workplaces to keep up with customer demand. While this is a fairly recent problem, it’s been an ongoing one for the U.S. Postal Service throughout the pandemic.
In order to ensure workers, including federal employees, weren’t forced to choose between their paychecks and their health, Congress passed legislation that provided special types of leave. One was for emergency health care, and the other allowed employees to take care of children in response to closures of schools and childcare facilities.
Postal employees were eligible to use these new types of leave. So how well did the Postal Service do at managing them? Finding that out was the objective of one of our recently released audit reports. We determined the Postal Service proactively took several quick, decisive actions, including creating a centralized website with instructions and guidance and also working with unions to provide additional paid leave for non-career employees.
We did, however, find a few areas upon which USPS could improve. For example, 96 percent of randomly sampled employees who exceeded the leave threshold lacked completed documentation to support their leave. The Postal Service also did not effectively monitor leave limits and had to go back in and make accounting adjustments for those who used more special leave than the law allowed.
So, how did your employer do at managing leave and staffing during the pandemic?