Q2: I lost my Employee ID Badge and my postmaster said that I had to give them $15 before I could get a replacement badge. Is that the correct procedure?
No, that is NOT the correct procedure. Although management, per the provisions of the Administrative support Manual (ASM) section 277.72 can charge an employee up to $15 to replace a lost or stolen employee ID badge, it is very much improper to require any employee to immediately pay this money to a local management representative as a condition of receiving a replacement badge. Such a practice amounts to an unethical “shakedown” of the employee and it is also directly contrary to the contractually established procedures for collecting employee debts. Article 28 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement states that “In advance of any money demand upon an employee for any reason, the employee must be informed in writing and the demand must include the reasons therefor.” As such, the proper procedure for collecting ANY employee debt is a formal Letter of Demand, which itself is subject to the grievance procedure, per Article 28, section 4. Additionally, Article 41, section 3.E. of our Contract states that “When the Employer requires use of certain supply items for the proper performance of a carrier’s functions, such items will be supplied by the employer. Employee ID badges are clearly necessary for the proper performance of a carrier’s functions. Thus, if an employee loses an ID badge, he/ she should promptly notify management, who in turn should promptly issue a replacement badge. After issuing the replacement badge, management can then choose to issue a Letter of Demand to the employee for up to $15 for the cost of the replacement badge. However, under NO circumstances should an employee ever be providing cash or checks directly to management in response to an alleged debt without first having been provided with a Letter of Demand as required by Article 28 of the Contract. Finally, although management can charge an employee up to $15 through the issuance of a Letter of Demand to replace a lost or stolen employee ID badge, an employee should never be charged to replace a worn or malfunctioning badge. Any attempt to do so should be challenged with a grievance.