The check is in the mail. This saying serves as the age-old excuse for payment not arriving on time—and a plausible one, considering that the U.S. Postal Service processes and delivers an average of 167 million pieces of mail per day.
Processing such a large volume of letters and packages requires an extensive workforce that is trained and well-supervised, which is why a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit may have implications for people other than Washington, D.C. lawyers. In a case called National Association of Postal Supervisors v. United States Postal Service, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals addressed how the Postal Service pays those who supervise the mail’s processing and delivery, focusing on how the law controls decisions by federal agencies.
In its argument, the National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS) claimed that postal supervisors had been shortchanged by a Postal Service decision on pay rates. NAPS said that this discrepancy resulted from the Postal Service violating legal rules on how to set the supervisors’ pay. NAPS sued the Postal Service over its 2016–2019 pay package, which NAPS claimed did not provide a pay scale that would keep clerks from making more than managers and failed to consider private sector compensation and benefits.