The U.S. Postal Service has an obligation to ensure the safety of its employees by creating and maintaining a violence-free work environment. Our recent audit work confirmed that the Postal Service has a comprehensive program to identify, review, report, and address employee assaults.
Postal Service employees who have been assaulted can take one or more of the following actions based on the circumstances:
- Notify their manager;
- File a formal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint or grievance with the Postal Service;
- Notify the internal law enforcement organizations (U.S. Postal Inspection Service or the Office of Inspector General); or
- Contact the local police.
Posters should be readily visible in work areas for employees to know how to identify and report workplace violence incidents.
The Postal Inspection Service investigates assaults and threats against employees, while the OIG investigates allegations of a hostile work environment and sexual harassment. Either agency can pursue criminal charges or refer cases to the Postal Service for further action. The Postal Service handles administrative action, such as letters of warning, suspensions, and removal of employees, as appropriate.
As part of its effort to forestall harassment, assaults, and threats, the Postal Service established the Workplace Environment Tracking System as a central repository for workplace environment incidents so it can analyze data, identify trends, and develop preventive measures.
Our recent audit of the Postal Service’s workplace violence program found the Postal Service and Postal Inspection Service appropriately addressed all workplace violence cases in the six districts that were selected for review. We noted some opportunities to enhance the overall program, such as better recording of incidents in the tracking system and consistent displaying of educational posters and publications.