USPS worker accused of forging doctor’s note

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. — A United States Postal Service employee has been charged with counterfeiting for allegedly forging a doctor’s note excusing her from work for a week, according to court records.

On July 31, a local USPS plant manager contacted the USPS Office of Inspector General requesting confirmation of a doctor’s note submitted by employee Crystal Pugh.

The Special Agent assigned to investigate the note contacted Med Point in Granger and faxed a copy of the letter submitted by Pugh.

A nurse at Med Point told the investigator the document was not issued or generated by anyone at their office, according to the probable cause affidavit.

On August 19, the special agent spoke with Pugh at her residence. After she was told Med Point denied issuing the letter, Pugh admitted she made the document on her computer because she needed something to submit to the USPS for her time off, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Pugh acknowledged the information in the document was not factual, reports said.

On August 29, St. Joseph County Police attempted to serve a warrant for one count of counterfeiting for Pugh.

Officers went to her home on South Meade Street and spoke with Joseph Adam Dabney, who answered the door.

Dabney told police Pugh wasn’t at the home, according to the probable cause affidavit.

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That’s because they force us to get a note for 3+ days off

Why not just say you don’t have a note. And don’t get paid for the days you don’t work?

That’s a shame! Depending when I am sick or take just one day off I need a doctors note as well. I choose to both keep my job and not have officers at my door to serve a warrant to me, so guess what, I do not take the time off unless I am sick and I make sure my doctor is consulted so I can either get in to be seen or have someone pick the document up for me so I will have it upon returning to work! That’s one hell of a way to screw up a… Read more »

And you don’t think that’s fair?

I’m an ex-employee. I was a CCA, they asked me for an appointment card proving I had a appointment! I did not abuse anytime off. After they made me work 60 hours a week for 8 months, I quit. I was completely exhausted!!! I’m not someone who sits easily but that’s crap. No wonder why can’t keep anyone.

My post office forces us to get a note for any use of sick days or sick hours. They also do fact findings of you go to the bathroom, and want a doctors note if you excessively use the restroom, or two or more times a day. That means all the safety pushing towards staying hydrated goes out the window. Lol

That is totally ridiculous.

You do not have to supply a doctors note unless you are out for four days or more. If your manager or supervisor ask you to present documentation for your sick call or leaving early, you can give them your 3971, and a written note from YOU stating: you were sick so you had to leave work early on said date, sign it and get a copy. Or if you call out and they ask for a note give them the same type of written note. A doctors note is not required for one to three days, after the third… Read more »

So true, one of my routes had no bathroom, Had a turn around time of 30 minutes to closes bathroom.

We used to give them bathroom permission slips. They didn’t like that very much. I was told I couldn’t go unless it was on my break. We don’t get breaks at times too. Then what do we do? Is this a Nazi camp or what?

Yes, a friend of mine who carried mail
In NY suffered kidney damage as a result!!

They can’t force you. Just don’t do it. Grieve any discipline.

Start wearing diapers. After used mail to postmaster

You can thank all the employees who took advantage of a more lenient policy.

The doctors office violated HIPPA laws by giving out that information to her employer.

No they didn’t disclose any medical information of hers, only validated that they issued no such documentation

Still a violation

I’m not sure that’s a violation since the person at the office did not disclose any health information and certainly no doctor-patient confidential information.

They most certainly did

HIPPA definitely violated due to the fact ANY INFORMATION was given. It does not have to pertain to health records. The fact that they acknowledged she had or hadn’t been at their facility is a violation

No they didn’t. HIPPA says you can give out medical information.

With Post Office the OIG can gain information that her local manager can not. In other words if there is some sort of crime committed they have the right to ask question. Postmaster, managers and supervisor are not permitted to ask those question that OIG can.

I believe they can ask questions but that doesn’t mean that the medical staff should comply just because of the title or uniform. That requires a judge signed warrant to force them to give information. I believe her HIPAA rights were violated by medical staff that was intimidated by a asking officer.

Sandra,I managed various types of businesses for 40 years. There are two reasons why HIPPA doesn’t apply here in this case: 1). The USPS did not request specific medical information on this lady and hopefully the DRs office did not give out specific medical information on her. Merely asking the DRs office if they provided the note and then showing the note to them is not requesting anything the lady didn’t provide herself. If the USPS did not show them the note and they gave out information that might violate HIPPA. 2). A person loses all protections,such as HIPPA if… Read more »

They (Medical Office) didn’t violate any HIPPA laws, it was a forgery, which they verified and had the absolute right to verify. No one has a legal right to misrepresent any matter on another party’s letterhead or forge signatures. That is illegal, period. Ridiculous post/comment and very foolish on the part of the postal worker.

Not true. Confirming its not information generated by the medical practice does not violate anything.

Not really. They only commented on the note didn’t originate from their offices. They didn’t comment on any medical issues of the accused.

Verifying the authenticity of the document does not violate HIPPA or Aria because they supposedly generated it.

No they did not. They didn’t give out any of her information.

No, those laws are about sharing any medical information on a patient. For those unfamiliar with HIPAA: it’s the acronym that stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a US law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. I’ve been in the medical field since 15 years before HIPAA was enacted. One of the most important Acts ever passed! If she hadn’t submitted the note, then USPS couldn’t find out if she had seen a health care provider, or even… Read more »

The Dr didn’t give out any of her info. They simply denied signing the note she confessed to forging.

I doubt that. When you sign hippa papers at the doctors office, you are giving them permission to release any information to law enforcement organizations.

Unless her stupid ass wrote on there if they have any questions please feel free to contact their office

Not if there’s no info to give

She only had 5 weeks of paid vacation yearly, 13 holidays a year, and 8 hours of sick leave earned every month. That’s 40 days off every year, but she used that up and had to steal more from her employer. How sorry the average American worker feels for her after the coworkers slam on management.

Exactly! You should supply a Dr note if you’re not at work! You’re sick enough to miss 3 days work you need to get to a Dr so that note is easy to get. Pathetic work ethic. Don’t like what USPS does? Get a different job…. good luck finding those benefits and pay scale.

You wish…..

If she is a PSE,That’s untrue.

Do you work for the USPS? Are you in management there? If you were an employee then you would definitely understand. This employer is freaking nuts. Employees are treated like felons and harassed to the brink of insanity. You dont know what was going on in her life. If she had sick leave it was her RIGHT to use it!!!!!!! The USPS does not want to give you the benefits you EARNED. and they have no right questioning her doctor. Most of the criminals in the USPS are in management

As a postal carrier, if you’re not a regular, you’re working holidays most likely.You dont get 5 weeks vacation. And depending on her position, she wouldn’t accrue sick days at all. Wanna make some more stuff up?

You are assuming she didn’t use sick leave. You’re also assuming USPS doesn’t do this with use of sick leave.

She only gets paid for sick leave she EARNED

Apparently the people who commented here didn’t bother to read yours. I asked my carrier, and she verified what you’ve said. She added that once you get by the initial probation period, you’ve got it made With amazing health care coverage, too! A work field more people should know & care about: When public school teacher’s get the 6 weeks of summer”off” they spend at least 2 of those writing lesson plans for the next semester, meeting with students and parents, other meetings, and doing a huge amount of paperwork. Plus any state mandated continuing education to keep their teaching… Read more »

Your carrier must work in a really nice office. Probably a wealthy town. It takes at least 15 years to get to the top of the pay scale. Also, you start off in the worst drug & crime invested neighborhoods. You are in whatever the weather is for 8 to 12 hours a day. You have bosses that are constantly monitoring your every move with GPS. There is not always a convenient bathroom so you hold it a lot. The work is dirty and back breaking
I carried almost 30 years. I don’t miss it at all.

I’ve worked as an RCA (sub rural carrier) for 10 years. I do not earn any sick leave, nor do I get any vacation days, no health insurance & no retirement benefits. I work 30-40 hours a week. The USPS is a very complex place to work. Most people think that if you’re a USPS employee, you have it made. & like I just pointed out MY situation, that’s not always true!

How about this, I am a carrier for 19 its and I get gout. I have a doctors note when I get it and use that after 3 days off and still get pulled into the office for a management discussion. They told me to apply for FMLA, I did and it got denied twice for a cronic condition? Anyway, she did do wrong to forge a document.

those numbers may not be her reality

Whoever tried to get this poor lady in trouble for taking some time off deserves to be sent to hell.

Amen to that.

She got herself in trouble. What don’t you understand about that?

Such undermining scrutiny by an employer. They had it out for her, doubt they do that to every employee. She toasted herself and they seized the moment!

I’m a previous Occupational Health Nurse Administrator for the USPS and yes, management harasses every employee if they call in sick (that was one of my many jobs, keeper of medical records)! Employees that have been in service for 10, 20, 30 years, whether its sick time for the flu or for cancer treatment, it didnt matter!! Management looks for any reason to discipline their employees. Their philosophy is to get the employees off the rolls, so they can hire new people. The employee harassment that I experienced was mind blowing!! I had never seen anything like it in my… Read more »

You do not have to supply a doctors note unless you are out for four days or more. If your manager or supervisor ask you to present documentation for your sick call or leaving early, you can give them your 3971, and a written note from YOU stating: you were sick so you had to leave work early on said date, sign it and get a copy. Or if you call out and they ask for a note give them the same type of written note. A doctors note is not required for one to three days, after the third… Read more »

That’s not true anymore. You have to provide a drs note if you’re out sick for 2 or more days now.

Correct…management must provide in writing medical documentation is required.
Then, failure to provide said documentation can result in AWOL/corrective action.

You are incorrect. Reread the ELM

You can have tons of sick leave and vacation time. They can and do deny requests for time off as well as deny documentation of notes if they want. And that means you don’t get paid!

One of her dirty coworkers initiated that. What plant manager have time for that kind of investigation?

Unfortunately they probably hired a specific team of people to investigate like they pay people to go out and follow carriers to make sure they are being safe

She might be a Casual carrier and probably asked that jackass supervisor for a week off and of course the supervisor said no you belong here, the postmaster has the supervisors head in a guillotine and the answer is always no, I Retired after 33, 1/2 years from a processing plant and for you lucky people working in air conditioned offices making 100 thousand plus and working around smart sensible people your lucky, you dont know the Living Hell in the 70’s and 80’s even 90’s when your on post office shipping docks at night with magazines covering 40 thousand… Read more »

That is easily the dumbest reasoning listed here.

I read a lot of whining going on here. You are responsible for yourself. Don’t blame the system or other people for your bad judgement and dishonesty.

Already know what you’re saying. Back in the 80s worked at the world’s largest processing plant

Postal management seem to be getting desperate because they want to get rid of their highest paid employees in favor of lower paid with no benefits. They actually spied on me at home by using my mail carrier because they did not belive me even with the doctor’s note. So yes they do find the time to do that kind of thing and one of these days they will get sued over it. I came really close and they know it too.

It’s TRUE Postal mngt seems to be getting desperate they want to get rid of their highest paid employees in favor of lower paid with no benefits. I’m an example of tht. After 20 yrs of service my job was terminated for a bogus allegation, they build on it along with cowrks, & the Union. Even with the truth rt there in blk & white. Theres more, To be continue…

Lol sued? If you think management cares about being sued then u are sadly mistaken. Lol sued!!!

I would suggest you call your union officer on that, that is harassment plain and simple.
I retired after 37 yrs.Did several different positions in P.O. I was a rural carrier and
204-B, DSI,Accademy Instrutor
and OCI. Bottom line is you lead by example. Not something the Post Office does. Alot of Management does even have people skills,they want you to follow rules but they won”t.

This happens all the time @ USPS

In 2004 I filed charges against the USPS for violating my FMLA rights. It took till 2007 for the case be heard but I won- $40,000 apology letter from the postmaster & sick leave / annual leave credited. I called in one morning stating due to my FMLA on file. Was told by postmaster I had to bring in a Doctor’s note.
The USPS was wrong in denying me
My FMLA rights!!!!

STOP allowing Mgmt dictate what you need to have without it being written. Force them to give you everything in writing and use that to force them to pay you for what they request.
In order to survive, you have to learn the game of ” PUT IT IN WRITING”

Good. Leaving her coworkers out to dry doing her work while she steals company time and steals time from the other postal employees having to pick up her slack.

what’s the point of having sick leave if you NOT allow to use it ?

I was recently hired and just completed 4 days orientation as a rural route carrier. I resigned immediately as it became overtly clear to me that no person who really loves him/herself would accept this job unless he /she were desperate for a job. The article doesn’t say if this woman was a “career” carrier yet but it’s significant since until one becomes career (that can take YEARS), any day off – no matter how deathly ill you are – is cited as an “unscheduled absence” and could be grounds for termination OR at least stop giving you hours so… Read more »

So is this why my mail carrier consistently puts people’s mail in the wrong boxes, causing us to go door to door, exchanging mail? Or delivering packages that look like they play kick ball with them? Or marking packages delivered to individual when they aren’t? Because he’s so mistreated at his job? Forging a doctor’s note is serious and I can’t believe how many comments are defending this woman’s actions.

The Postmaster where i work works 15 hours a week average. He’ll take 4 to 8 weeks off claiming military leave yet he’s seen around town during that time. He Claims it’s illegal to verify his absence.

If you don’t want to work for the post office then don’t find something else that you can do

mail handler in South Bend

My Boss told me to go to the doctor on the morning of my second day. I was so upset I went to the clinic and I had super high blood pressure, They gave me a week off.

Yawn. If you give people time off they wouldnt have to go to these lengths! ????????????