USPS Dress Code Policy Change With Corrective Action – Western Pa District

Via John J. Phelan – District Manager, Western Pennsylvania District, US Postal Service:

“One year ago, the Western Pennsylvania District provided notice to our bargaining unit and management organizations that I was considering Instituting a Dress Code Policy. The organizations were also provided with notice that I was considering a minor change to our disciplinary process.

I have decided to implement a District Dress Code Policy. Particularly now, with the arrival of warm weather, we regularly experience employee Issues which are related to attire. It will be beneficial for employees to have a dress code to reference to help clarify what is or isn’t appropriate dress for the industrial setting.

Also effective immediately, all corrective action for both craft and EAS shall be administered in strict accordance with those procedures outlined in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements and the ELM. In accordance with the National Agreements and the ELM, any and all prior corrective action MAY be considered in the administration of progressive discipline.”

Letter to PMG and News Media via John P. Richards, President, APWU Pittsburgh Area Retiree Chapter:

“This policy clearly has nothing to do with legitimate safety concerns. It is more akin to the establishment of “fashion police”, that seeks to regiment the appearance of these employees to some imagined standard that leans heavily on the presentation and attire of the human body that has nothing to do with performance of their duties. The appearance and dress of the employees covered by the policy reflect the fashion of society at large, nothing more. There is no substantial documented record that prompted the policy.

Moreover, with all the problems in the Postal Service today, the policy is more of a laughing stock than a serious effort to address a real problem.

If the policy is not withdrawn and discarded for the outrage that it is, appropriate action can be anticipated by the Unions, thus adding to the financial woes of the Postal Service.”

3 thoughts on “USPS Dress Code Policy Change With Corrective Action – Western Pa District

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Pittsburgh PA Retiree Chapter
    Office held, if any
    President Pgh Local 1974-1994, APWU DIR 1980-1983, President Retiree Chapter
    I sent the above press release to the Postmaster General and major media outlets in New York City and Washington DC, anticipating there would be inquiries made to the Postal Service at the headquarters level from the media. Concurrently and separately the local filed a grievance that was summarily denied. The policy was quietly withdrawn. Written notice was given to me. At the time the local had no idea of our intervention, and were unsure how the policy was rescinded.

  2. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Spartanburg Area Local 403
    Where can I find a dress code policy for the Cap-Metro Greater South?

  3. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Auburn WA Local
    Office held, if any
    Retired President

    District dress codes must conform with Articles 5 and 19. Notice of proposed changes that directly relate to wages, hours, or working conditions must be furnished to the Union at the national level. The Western Pennsylvania District did not do that. In addition, the Administrative Support Manual says this about field installations besides the Areas issuing their own policies and procedures:

    ASM 312.22 Other Installations

    Other field installations besides the areas may issue their own policy and procedure information to subordinates, following the instructions in 314.2 and 315.

    ASM 314.2 Field Policies and Procedures

    ASM 314.21 Areas

    Before issuance, area policies and procedures are coordinated through the vice president of Area Operations with the various area functional areas that have a substantive interest in the subject matter or whose programs or responsibilities are affected. If such information deals with any of the following subjects, it is coordinated with and documented by the appropriate functional areas at Headquarters:

    a. Wages, hours, and working conditions of bargaining unit personnel.

    b. Work methods, work standards, activity analysis, scheduling and staffing, performance objectives, and industrial engineering techniques.

    c. National program directive issued by Headquarters (particularly if it expands significantly on a Headquarters program directive).

    d. Any significant field initiatives not related to an approved national program.

    ASM 314.22 Other Installations

    Before issuance, field installation policies and procedures are coordinated with the appropriate functional areas at the installation; if they deal with any of the subjects listed in 314.21, they are also coordinated with the appropriate functional areas of the organizational level to which the installation head reports. That level of organization is responsible for initiating any further coordination.

    ASM 315 Prohibitions

    The following prohibitions must be observed:

    a. Do not issue instructions that conflict with any current directives.

    b. Do not repeat instructions that have already been disseminated to the action points by Headquarters or a higher level of field organization. This repetition is wasteful and can be confusing.

    c. Do not issue instructions to subordinate organizational levels “clarifying,” supplementing (except as authorized in MI AS-310-78-3), or rewording policies or procedures from a higher level organization unless the instructions specifically direct or authorize this action. Unauthorized rewording or interpretation can distort the intention of policy and instructions. If a policy or instruction is unclear or inadequate, go back through channels and ask the originator to issue clarifying or supplemental instructions.

    Source: ASM 13: Administrative Support Manual – Nov 2013

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