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ReHab Class Action Update (5/18/04

Chandler Glover and Dean Albrecht, et al., v. John E. Potter

Notice Of Resolution Of Glover Class Action

Injured Postal Workers Discussion

 

FMLA & Injured Workers Class ACTION Lawsuits


Glover Case Status Updated October 11, 2005

We are in the first phase of a four phase claim process. To complete all four phases will take time. As a reminder, acceptance of a claim does not mean that a class member will automatically receive payment. Class counsel has recently received the Postal Service's summary of all claims and its recommendations for dismissing certain claims. Phase one requires that class counsel review the summary of all claims to determine whether we agree with the recommendations. Class counsel is also reviewing the claim forms to determine whether you are a class member, whether your claim was timely filed and whether your claim meets the requirements for acceptance

 

Glover Case Status Updated June 29, 2005

Class Counsel has informed all claimants in writing of the present status of their claim.

In May, many of you received a letter from the Postal Service. This letter was sent pursuant to the settlement agreement. The letter provided information on how rehabilitation employees can register comments or concerns to the USPS about promotions and/or advancement opportunities issues. This letter does not require you to do anything, unless you would like to register a comment or concern.

Most of your questions can be answered by clicking on the tab "FAQ" or Frequently Asked Questions. Questions to class counsel must be in writing. Send a fax to 303.927.3860 or glovercase [at] msn [dot] com include your claim number, full name, and mailing address.

If your address has changed, please click here, Change of Address Form and follow the instructions.

Claim forms are being reviewed. The review of claim form-1 is the first phase of a four phase claim process. Phase one requires a review of claim form-1 by counsel to determine whether the claim was timely filed and whether you are a member of the class. Acceptance of your claim does not mean that you will automatically receive damages.

 

Glover Case Update: On July 9, 2004, the Claims Administrator mailed Claim Form 1 and related materials.

If you did not receive Claim Form 1 in the mail, Claim Form 1 is available by right clicking on the tab entitled Claim Form 1 on this page. Print the claim form and follow the instructions. Remember, Claim Form 1 must be received by the Claims Administrator no later than August 23, 2004.

Claim Form 1 must be mailed to the Claims Administrator, not Class Counsel. Send the form to:

United States Postal Service
Glover/Albrecht Class Claim Administrator
PO Box 2007
Chanhassen, MN 55317-2007

Make sure you send the claim form with some form of delivery confirmation. Keep a copy of Claim Form 1 for your records. You do not need to send any documents with Claim Form 1. Documents may be requested at a later date.

Our email address is glovercase [at] msn [dot] com, our fax number is 303.927.3860. Include your full name, mailing address and a telephone number when submitting any questions.

Please be patient, the claims process will take time.

On June 10, 2004, "The Administrative Judge granted Final Approval to the Glover/Albrecht Class Action Settlement Agreement. . The Claims Administrator will mail Claim Form 1 and related materials within 30 days to individuals listed by USPS as potential members of the class. This mailing should occur during the week of July 12, 2004.If you have not received a claim form by the end of the week - July 12, 2004, we will have Claim Form 1 available on this web site at the tab entitled Claim Form on the home page. You will be able to print the claim form from the website. The claim form will include instructions on where to file the form. Submit your questions to us by email or fax with your full name, mailing address and telephone number. Our email address is  glovercase [at] msn [dot] com, our fax number is 303.927.3860.Please be patient, the finalization of the claim process will take time."

EEOC Judge Gives Final Approval to Settlement in Injured Employees Class-Action Suit against USPS An administrative judge gave final approval Thursday to a settlement of a class-action lawsuit that accused the Postal Service of discriminating against injured employees. The judge gave preliminary approval in December. An estimated 25,000 postal employees who have been hurt on the job and reassigned since 1992 are eligible to apply for part of the settlement. It offers $25,000 each to employees who can show that they were discriminated against because of their rehabilitation status. Most workers will get less than that according to payment schedules described in the settlement agreement. Total payments are expected to cost the government millions. The lawsuit was filed in 1992 by Chandler Glover, who said he was denied advancement opportunities by postal officials in Denver after he was injured on the job in 1991. The settlement also requires postal officials to ensure that managers do not discriminate against rehabilitating employees. The agreement includes no admission of wrongdoing by the Postal Service. June 11, 2004

 
An update on the Talbot v. Potter CFS Class Action (9/30/05)

On June 17, 2005 an Administrative Judge (AJ) of the San Francisco EEOC District Office issued a Summary Judgment in favor of the United States Postal Service in Mr. Talbot's Class-Action Complaint. Mr. Talbot, in turn, has appealed the AJ's decision and that appeal has arrived at the EEOC, Office of Federal Operations in Washington, D.C. on August 22, 2005.

Mr. Talbot has indicated that the appeal may take a minimum of one year, possibly longer. Until such time as the EEOC, OFO rules on the appeal, the class-action complaint should be considered a viable and active complaint. Mr. Talbot has indicated that he will advise, as necessary, on any change in the complaints' status.

 

From Postal Reporter Reader- I have filed a class action EEO complaint against the US Postal Service. The complaint was filed on behalf of all injured workers that were forced to operate voice recognition computers on nights in CFS. The EEOC district office in San Francisco is reviewing the complaint and will soon decide to accept it for investigation or dismiss it. Management is claiming that they created jobs for injured workers when they added voice recognition. They claim that this made us more productive and that there was no other work available. They claim that our medical restrictions are so severe that they had no other choice but to place us on nights operating voice recognition computers. That have stated that we all willingly accepted the job offers and that they did not discriminate in any way. This is not true.  We were all told that we could accept work on the night shift or be terminated.   If nothing is done to dispute this management may succeed in having this complaint dismissed.  The workers with the most severe medical limitations were placed on the night shift operating voice recognition computers.  I believe this is discrimination and refusal to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled workers.  There was other work available on days but we were told that because of our limitations we could only work nights.  We had some people with 25 years of seniority forced on nights.  Some retired early others quit.  I filed an individual complaint and later asked for class certification.  The USPS ended its policy of forcing disabled persons onto nights after about 1 year.  All employees that are forced to work beyond their normal hours are given out of schedule pay (overtime). We were not. The Office of Investigator General is reviewing numerous complaints in this postal district.  My EEO complaints are being reviewed by Judge Virginia Mellema at San Francisco's EEO district. I hope that she certifies my class action soon.  I am looking for a law firm with class action experience to represent us.   I can be contacted at fctalbot [at] yahoo [dot]com (5/18/04)

Thanks,

Frederick C. Talbot

(editor's note: Frederick Talbot is a Rural Carrier)


From John Cyncar- (posted 5/1/04) Since this website was initiated in September, 2001, I always felt that there was a possibility that an FMLA Class Action Civil Suit in Federal District Court would be possible. It would have been a separate action from the EEO FMLA Class Action complaint which was certified on April 1, 2003 and it is currently in the Office of Federal Operations on appeal.

In July of 2003, the class attorneys for the EEO class complaint indicated that they would be willing to undertake a class action civil suit against the USPS on issues of FMLA. Since then, they have had hundreds of personnel express their interest, and the class attorneys received a similar response for documentation from the interested personnel.

After a review of the documentation, and discussion with a number of the interested personnel, the class attorneys conceded that it was not a feasible option to initiate a National Class Action Suit regarding FMLA. They then focused on personnel in the Colorado/Wyoming District.

Now, the class attorneys have concluded that a Federal Class Action FMLA civil suit involving just Colorado/Wyoming District personnel is also not a feasible option. After conferring with the class attorneys, I have found that their decision was based on the following reasons:

  • Expiration of the Statute of Limitations--The statute of limitations is normally two years, and in extreme circumstances, three years. The personnel contacted exceeded one, or the other, of the limitations.

  • Moot point because issues resolved by grievances--Most of the personnel contacted filed grievances with their various unions. A settlement of issues via the grievance/arbitration process precludes damages via a civil settlement.

  • Limited or no monetary damages involved--The FMLA precludes any kind of compensatory damages. The only damages allowed are actual monetary damages. This type of damages is nominal, very minimal, or non-existent.

  • Incomplete FMLA packets--A majority of the personnel contacted did not have complete FMLA packets. This is an unfortunate set of circumstances, but the USPS has relied on peoples attitudes to pursue their course of actions, and, in quite a few cases, the courts would view in favor of the USPS because it is the individuals responsibility to insure the packets are complete.

In view of the above, initiation of a class-action under FMLA statutes is a dead issue, at least by the class attorneys of the EEO class action. The EEO class action itself will proceed should the Office of Federal Operations rule in favor of the Class. I am confident that they will, but nothing is set in stone, and they could rule against the class.

I apologize if this effort lead to false hopes, but the decision was made after careful and full deliberation of the facts, and the possibilities in pursuing the case. I appreciate peoples efforts in trying to help get this initiated, and I hope that this decision does not preclude anyone from pursuing the matter on their own.

 

February 6, 2004

ELWYN F. SCHAEFER & ASSOCIATES, P.C.

To Whom it May Concern: Re: Representation of Postal employees

This is an update on both the pending ("Cyncar") class action and that class action that we were considering bringing in Federal District Court.  The Cyncar matter was certified as a class action by an Administrative Judge on April 1, 2003.  The ground for certification was "discrimination based upon disability, resulting in disparate treatment, discipline, and failure to reasonably accommodate".  The Agency filed an appeal and we are still waiting for a decision from the office of Federal Operations that, hopefully, will affirm the decision in our favor.  Again, the initial decision was based upon disability-related discrimination where the Postal Service employee is an individual with a disability as defined by the Rehabilitation Act. 

 

It is our position that such disabled individuals have been denied leave in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

 

The other class action that we had contemplated bringing was based upon the denial of such leave for an eligible employee so that he or she may care for his or her spouse, children or parent if that family member has a serious health condition, or for the employees own serious health condition.  A "serious health condition" is a less stringent standard than that set forth in the Rehabilitation Act referred to above.

We have received numerous responses from across the country and, after much discussion, and great reluctance, our team has decided not to go forward with the latter class action.  Our reasons, in very general terms are as follows: (1) claimants have little or no monetary loss.  Damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering are not available under the FMLA.  Nominal damages are not available under the FMLA.  It is not clear that any violations have taken place with regard to a class because medical certifications are indeed often incomplete.  (2) Some claimants are time-barred.  There is a two sometimes three, year statute of limitations.  (3)  Many claimants have taken their claims through the collective bargaining agreement grievance process.  (4)  Claims are too varied for a class and, it appears, it failed to meet the class certification prerequisites of commonality, typicality and numerousity.  (5) We have had difficulty in identifying class representatives.  Those who might qualify have suffered little or no monetary loss.

 

We reviewed more than 400 applications as part of what we believed to have been a full and complete investigation.  We are disappointed with this necessary decision.  Even if we were successful in getting a national class certified, the damages would be so minimal that it is impossible for us to justify the risks inherent in contingent feel litigation, which might drag on for between 5-7 years, if not longer.

 

If the Cyncar class certification decision is affirmed we will be moving forward on behalf of Postal Service employees who qualify as Rehabilitation Act disabled persons and were denied Family Medical Leave.  We will review the applications sent us with that qualification in mind.

 

Finally, we will continue to speak with Colorado/Wyoming (only) employees who have been denied family medical leave in the last two-three years.  Contact Barbara Edin [at msn.com

Previous Information

Postal Service fighting 2 suits-Injured workers not promoted, medical leaves denied, class actions allege-In the Glover case- Last Year, USPS disseminated a notice  which should have been posted in all postal facilities. This notice was required by EEOC to notify all class members of the complaint, according to one of the class action members.

FMLA CLASS ACTION: Attorneys Barbara Edin, working with co-counsel Elwyn Schaefer and Todd McNamara  have a class action certified against the USPS in the Western District for qualified individuals with disabilities when it (1) unreasonably required re-certification of FMLA requests; (2) unreasonably delayed and/or denied FMLA requests or stated they were "not currently approved;" (3) systemically required second and third opinions to support the FMLA requests; and (4) designated disability-related absences as AWOL and/or disciplined employees for disability-related absences when FMLA was disapproved. The Attorneys believe this case will go national. (source: Attorney Barbara Edin)


Elwyn F. Schaefer & Associates

600 17th Street, 2005-S

Denver, CO 80202

303-825-1961

fax 303-825-5460

May 21, 2003

Dear Union Member:

On April 1, 2003, Judge Kelly Humphrey of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [pdf] ("EEOC") issued a twelve-page Order recognizing a class action we brought against the United States Postal Service ("USPS") for having:

discriminated against qualified individuals with disabilities when it (1) unreasonably required

re-certification of FMLA requests; (2) unreasonably delayed and/or denied FMLA requests or

stated they were "not currently approved;" (3) systemically required second and third opinions

to support the FMLA requests; and (4) designated disability-related absences as AWOL and/or

disciplined employees for disability-related absences when FMLA was disapproved.

The USPS has appealed this decision to the Office of Federal Operations. The appeal process will take many months. While there is no guarantee, we are very encouraged by the strong decision of the Judge certifying the class and are confident we will prevail on appeal.

Our firm is representing the class. If you or others whom you know have been affected as a disabled employee in applying for FMLA, you may be eligible to join this class.

We are continuing our investigation into possible FMLA violations and, toward that end, are most interested in talking with any of you who may have difficulties similar to those of the class already certified or the potential class claims we are presently investigating.

A second class action will be soon filed in United States Federal Court in Denver alleging that the USPS has systematically denied FMLA to its employees and has violated the FMLA laws. This class will encompass any employee who has sought FMLA leave and has had it unreasonably denied, delayed or de-certified. You do not have to be disabled to be eligible to join this class.

If you wish to discuss your FMLA experiences with our firm, please call the telephone number above and ask for Patricia Hammer, our paralegal, who is working on the USPS cases. If you know of others who have been treated similarly, please have them contact us.

This first victory is welcome news to us all. We look forward to working with other potential class members.

ELWYN F. SCHAEFER & ASSOCIATES, P.C. MCNAMARA & MARTINEZ LLP

Signed _________Signed ___________________

Elwyn F. Schaefer  Todd McNamara

Barbara L. Edin

Related Links :Cyncar vs Potter -- Attendance Control

Chandler Glover and Dean Albrecht, et al., v. John E. Potter

Disability Settlement Could Cost USPS Millions (Federal Times) 12/5

 Glover/Albrecht Class Action Information Website

Case Status 1/7/04

Notice Of Resolution Of Class Action

 

From Glover Class Action Website: "We have received preliminary approval from the EEOC Administrative Judge to settle the case. All objections from class members had to be filed by March 3, 2004. The Administrative Judge is presently considering all the objections and will make a ruling on whether to give final approval to the settlement agreement. Within 30 days of final approval, the Claims Administrator will mail materials, including claim form one, to individuals listed by USPS as class members. We anticipate this mailing may occur before July 2004. If you think you are class members and did not receive the Notice of Resolution, you may not be listed by USPS as a member of this class. If you did not receive the Notice of Resolution, please email or fax us with your full name and mailing address. Please be patient, the finalization of this process will take time. Our email address is  glovercase [at] msn [dot] com or send us a fax @ 303.927.3860."

Judge approves settlement of class-action suit against Postal Service

(note: this settlement is NOT the same as the class action FMLA suit above)

DENVER (AP) - A federal judge has approved the settlement of a class-action lawsuit that accused the Postal Service of discriminating against injured employees. Attorneys said the deal will cost the government millions of dollars.

An estimated 25,000 postal employees who have been hurt on the job and reassigned since 1992 are eligible to apply for part of the settlement. It offers $25,000 each to employees who can show that they were discriminated against because of their rehabilitation status.

Most workers will get less than that according to payment schedules described in the settlement agreement approved by a judge here Wednesday. But payments are expected to cost the government millions.

''Whether it is single-digit or double-digit, we won't really know until we see how many claims are filed,'' said Brad Seligman, an attorney with the nonprofit Impact Fund, which helped represent the plaintiffs.

Officials for the Postal Service in Denver and in Washington said they could not comment on the settlement.

The lawsuit was filed in 1992 by Chandler Glover, now 65, who said he was denied advancement opportunities by postal officials in Denver after he was injured on the job in 1991.

''I got to keep the same salary, but I was denied any promotions, any transfers or anything of that nature,'' said Glover, who retired in 1999. ''I wasn't given those opportunities. I couldn't even apply for (them).''

The settlement also requires postal officials to ensure that managers do not discriminate against rehabilitating employees. The agreement includes no admission of wrongdoing by the Postal Service.

''To the Postal Service's credit, they acknowledge there is a problem,'' said John Mosby, a Denver lawyer who represented Glover. ''They have put in a lot of good incentives (for fair hiring practices) and they are working on it.''

It could take years to process claims under the settlement.

''After all the suffering I went through, knowing that 20,000-something people are going to be helped and some of the policies are going to be changed makes me feel real good,'' Glover said.


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