Federal judge orders USPS to lift limits on extra trips & overtime one week before election

Political mailings up 167%, according to Florida State Association of Letter Carrier president

Political mailings up 167%, according to Florida State Association of Letter Carrier president.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A federal judge on Tuesday night issued a sweeping new set of orders for United States Postal Service leadership, reversing the limits Postmaster General Louis Dejoy imposed several months ago.

The judge ordered that U.S. postal workers were to be informed of the new rules by 9 a.m. Wednesday to make sure they’re are allowed to do whatever is necessary to deliver America’s ballots on time.

Al Friedman, who is the president of the Florida State Association of Letter Carriers, said USPS employees are already working long hours with a drastic increase in political mailings.

“I’ve got carriers that by the time Friday comes, they’re into the 70-hour range for the week," Friedman said.

Friedman told the News4Jax I-TEAM that U.S. postal workers working 20-30 hours of overtime a week have become common during election season

Friedman said he applauds the judge’s orders to reverse the limitations on mail collection imposed by Dejoy.

“That just shows you the knowledge of the post office that Postmaster Dejoy never had walking in the door," Friedman said. “And he tried to come in with his business plan. It doesn’t work for a service-oriented, 24/7, 365 days-a-year business that we do 160 million addresses every day.”

In June, Dejoy put a cap on employee overtime and discouraged workers from making extra trips to deliver the mail.

An emergency motion filed by plaintiffs against President Donald Trump rescinded those USPS guidelines, eliminating a ban on late and extra trips to collect mail.

In Judge Emmet Sullivan of Washington D.C.’s order, he wrote: “To be clear, late and extra trips should be performed to the same or greater degree than they were performed prior to July 2020, when doing so would increase on-time mail deliveries.”

Sullivan further instructed the Postal Service to send him daily updates on the number of extra and late trips occurring every day at a national, regional and local level.

Friedman said the ruling ensures USPS employees can do their jobs without fear of retribution from their employer -- right up until Election Day.

“Any ballots picked up on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd of November -- the 2nd being a Sunday -- will not be going through the mainstream process. They will be locally postmarked and delivered to the supervisor of elections to guarantee your ballot will be there,” Friedman said. “And we all know Florida law -- your ballot has to be in the hands of the supervisor of elections at 7 p.m. Nov. 3.”

Friedman said political advertisements in state and local races is up 167% as compared to 2016.

He said the judge’s ruling has alleviated the problem, but he’s concerned about the post office perception after Trump made negative statements about USPS.

About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.