USPS ELM Revision: Severance Pay

Effective October 1, 2015, the Postal Service™ is revising the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) section 435.1 to update severance pay policy relative to eligibility and qualifying job offer.
Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM)
4 Pay Administration
435 Severance Pay

[Revise the title of 435.1 to read as follows and delete the text from 435.1 in its entirety:]

435.1 Eligibility and Qualifying Job Offer

[Add new 435.11 and 435.12 to read as follows:]

435.11 Eligibility

A career Postal Service employee is eligible for severance pay if the following applies:

a. The employee is involuntarily separated.

b. Immediately before the separation, the Postal Service, another federal agency, or both continuously employed the employee for at least 12 consecutive months without a break in service of three or more consecutive days.

A career Postal Service employee is not eligible for severance pay in the following circumstances:

a. The employee is entitled to an immediate retirement annuity from a federal civilian retirement system or from the uniformed services.

Note: If the employee becomes eligible for a retirement annuity after being involuntarily separated, his or her eligibility for severance pay ends on the date he or she becomes eligible for the annuity and the employee will not receive any additional severance pay after that date. The employee does not reimburse the Postal Service for any severance pay received before that date.

b. Within the 60-day period before the employee’s separation, the employee receives and declines to accept a written qualifying job offer, as defined in 435.12.

c. The employee is administratively separated because, following entry into military service, he or she has become ineligible for reemployment under USERRA (see 365.37).

d. The employee is separated for cause on charges of misconduct, delinquency, or inefficiency.

e. At the time of separation, the employee is receiving compensation as a beneficiary of the Federal Employees Compensation Act, except when the employee is receiving this compensation:

(1) Concurrently with Postal Service pay, or

(2) Because of someone else’s death.

435.12 Qualifying Job Offer

For the purposes of 435.1, a job offer is considered qualifying if the following conditions are met:

a. The offer is made in writing;

b. The employee is qualified for the position offered; and

c. The position offered is:

1. In the Postal Service or another federal agency;

2. Within the employee’s local commuting area, unless geographic mobility is a condition of employment;

3. In the same work schedule (i.e., either a full-time or part-time schedule) regardless of whether the employee is scheduled to work fewer hours in the position offered than he or she works in his or her current position;

4. Of like tenure (i.e., the expected duration of the employee’s appointment);

5. Of like seniority, for bargaining positions only; and

6. Of comparable pay, as defined below:

(a) The position offered is “of comparable pay” if it is in the same grade or pay level as the employee’s current position.

(b) For positions in different pay schedules, the position offered is “of comparable pay” if the maximum salary range for the position offered is the same as or exceeds the maximum salary range for the employee’s current position.

(c) Whether a position is “of comparable pay” is determined without regard to the employee’s eligibility for saved grade or pay in either the position offered or the employee’s current position.


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