USPS advises employees tread carefully with prospective employers

Postal Service employees can seek a job with any person, business or organization while still employed by USPS.

This includes any entity that does business with the Postal Service, but there are some rules to follow:

• Be aware of any potential overlaps between the prospective employer and your current postal job duties. If such a conflict arises, resolve it before negotiating for employment.

• Under the law, you have a financial interest in a prospective employer, which means that working directly or indirectly on any postal matter involving a prospective employer creates a conflict of interest.

• You cannot continue to work on a matter involving a prospective employer once that employer’s identity is known to you, even if negotiations are being handled through an intermediary.

Deferring employment discussions to a later date does not protect postal employees from a conflict-of-interest violation — employees must unequivocally say no to close the door to negotiation.

If a prospective employer is involved in or affected by your postal duties, you may not respond to an employment proposal by saying, “I’m not interested now, but I think I’d like to talk with you about it in six months.”

If the prospective employer is wholly unrelated to your postal duties, the conflict-of-interest laws will not apply to your employment negotiations.

If there is a connection between the prospective employer and your postal duties, and it may cause a potential conflict of interest, you will need to recuse or disqualify yourself from postal matters involving the prospective employer.

If the postal matter involving the prospective employer is so central to your job that recusal would prevent you from being able to perform your core duties, you must take annual leave during your employment negotiations.

The conflict-of-interest statute has criminal penalties for violations.

If you think you may have a potential conflict involving a prospective employer, email the USPS Ethics Office at ethics.help@usps.gov for assistance.


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