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A federal ethics document for USPS employees on outside employment has been updated

November 17, 2023

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A federal ethics document for USPS employees was revised recently for the first time since its introduction in 1995. The revisions took effect Sept. 7.

Many guidelines in the Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the United States Postal Service address outside employment and business activities.

Some rules have been eased. Employees may now:

• Work with a manufacturer of postal uniforms or other postal-related products, and

• Transport mail under USPS contracts within the same delivery area.

However, prior approval from the USPS Ethics and Legal Compliance team may be required.

Some rules have not changed. Employees may not:

• Consult on postal operations with any person who has competed or will compete for a USPS contract;

• Do business with any registered commercial receiving agency or company that delivers mailable matter, such as Amazon, FedEx or UPS;

• Engage in sales activities, charitable fundraising or for-profit business activities while on duty, in uniform or at postal facilities;

• Act as an agent for a contractor or anyone offering to become a contractor.

• Have an interest in any contract for carrying the mail. (Employees may not own a Highway Contract Route, or HCR, but may seek approval to work for an HCR contractor.)

In addition, prior approval is now required for employment with a subsidiary of a company that delivers mailable matter, even when the subsidiary does not participate in these activities. For example, employees must seek permission before they can take a second job with Amazon subsidiaries such as Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh.

Employees should email the Ethics team at ethics.help@usps.gov with questions.

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