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Postal Service reminds employees they may not misuse their time while on duty

August 15, 2023

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To help mark USPS Ethics Awareness Week, the Postal Service is reminding employees they may not misuse their time while on duty.

Here are some things employees should keep in mind:

• Federal regulations require that official time be used to carry out postal duties.

For example, an employee may not shop online, browse the internet or watch sports while on the clock.

• Employees may perform limited personal tasks while at work without violating the misuse of time rule.

These tasks include scheduling a doctor’s appointment or making a dinner reservation. However, personal tasks may not interfere with postal operations or reduce productivity.

• Some activities are always prohibited while on duty.

This includes viewing sexually explicit material, engaging in gambling or sports pools, completing work for an outside business, and buying or selling illegal drugs.

• Managers may never direct subordinates to misuse official time or engage in activities outside of official duties.

The Ethics Blue page covers these and other topics in more detail.

Employees who have questions should email the Ethics Office or call 202-268-6346.

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