USPS OIG Audit Project: How Do AWOL Employees Affect the Postal Service?

Project Title:
Unscheduled Leave – AWOL Status
Start Date:
Monday, November 29, 2021
Estimated Report Release Date:
May 2021

Employees who fail to report for duty on scheduled days are considered absent without leave (AWOL), except when emergencies prevent them from obtaining permission in advance. An employee who is absent without permission or who fails to provide satisfactory evidence that an actual emergency existed will be placed in a non-pay status for the period of the absence. The absence may be the basis for disciplinary action.

Employees who are AWOL are still counted against the district’s employee complement. If the district is at full complement, the Postal Service cannot replace the AWOL employee until the employee is removed from payroll.

Our objective is to assess the management of employees in absence without leave status and identify opportunities to timely resolve AWOL status and manage cost.

  • When employees are AWOL at your facility, please explain who generally is responsible for completing those employees’ job responsibilities.
  • What are the biggest challenges (if any) at your facility when employees are AWOL for an extended period?

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