Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.
I am a 30% or more disabled Vet and my Post Office building is downsizing. They are offering jobs to people who are about 80 miles away even though our contract for the Maintenance Craft states we cannot be relocated to farther than 50 miles. I was a mailhandler for 18 years and switched to another job two years ago due to my disability. By switching crafts, I started a whole new seniority and now I would be the first to go and most likely will be offered another position more than 80 miles away. I cannot travel that distance with my disability.
Is there anything I can do to help secure a chance at one of the local custodian jobs?
I can’t answer this question without a thorough review of your collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and the Postal Service’s RIF process. You may very well be out of luck. I suggest you raise your issue with the union. But, ordinarily unions are quite concerned about sensitivity provisions in CBAs. There may be another alternative.
Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.
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10 pt Vets (30% or more Disability) are the last to be RIF’d under USPS rules. Even CBAs don’t abrogate this preference. I have been through 2 RIFs at the USPS and seen a 10 pt Vet with only 2-3 yrs seniority be the person offered a position because everyone else either was not a Disabled Vet or had less than 30 percent Disability (5 pt Vet).