Current Status of the Case

September 3, 2019 – Status Update

Over the next few weeks, we will be sending out new forms to many of our clients to complete. These forms are very short, and most clients will be able to complete these forms in five minutes or less.

We are sending these forms to our clients because the Judge has raised a few questions, and these forms will provide the Judge with clear, concise answers. In other words, our clients should complete the forms and return them to us as soon as possible so we can help the Judge move forward in the claim review process.

Please note: we are using email to send these forms to our clients to the greatest extent possible. For those clients who have not provided us with an email address, we are sending the forms via first-class mail, with a postage-paid return envelope. Also, please note that not every client is being sent these forms at this time.

If you have any questions about the forms when you receive them, please contact us at 585-272-0540. Thank you as always for your cooperation and support during the claim review process.

August 23, 2019 – Status Update

Earlier this week, the EEOC Judge spoke with our legal team about the possibility, in theory, for broad settlement of the claims for relief in this case. The Judge has repeatedly emphasized her strong desire to identify a path for prompt, fair resolution of valid claims for relief. We strongly agree with this goal, and we pledge to continue our advocacy on behalf of all the claimants that we represent. We greatly appreciate the Judge’s efforts.

We have not spoken with USPS attorneys about settlement of any claims. The bottom line remains as before: there is no indication at this time that the Agency is prepared to make any settlement offer to any claimants. There is no need for you to take any action at this time regarding the possibility of settlement.

For better or worse, this case presents numerous potential impediments to wide-spread settlement. Our legal team has experience achieving successful class-wide settlements in complex cases, but we also have experience pushing forward with litigation if fair settlement cannot be reached with the other side. Fair settlement is not possible in every case, so we must be prepared for continued litigation of your claims.

Experience demonstrates that fair settlement in a case like this cannot be achieved without lengthy, complex negotiations lasting months or even years. We will continue to keep you posted on all major developments in the case.

Please check this website for updates. As always, we greatly appreciate your support and patience throughout this process.

August 12, 2019 – Status Update

EEOC rules and guidelines require all parties to be willing to discuss the possibility of settlement with the EEOC Judge. Last Friday, Judge Roberts-Draper issued a schedule for talking to the lawyers about the possibility of settlement. However, there is no indication at this time that the Agency is prepared to make any settlement offer to any individual claimant. Thus, as of this time, nothing has changed in terms of possible settlement, and there is no need for you to take any action at this time regarding the possibility of settlement.

We are very grateful for the Judge’s willingness to discuss the possibility of settlement. Our goal, as always, is to push for prompt appropriate relief for the victims of NRP discrimination. Settlement generally provides a much faster path to relief for the victims of discrimination, as opposed to the many years associated with continued litigation and appeals. However, settlement is not possible in every case. (For better or worse, the Postal Service has a reputation for preferring delay and continued litigation over prompt appropriate settlement.)

The bottom line is this: there is no indication at this time that the Agency is prepared to make any settlement offer to any individual claimant. Again, there is no need for you to take any action at this time regarding the possibility of settlement.

Please continue to check this website for updates, and thank you as always for your support and patience throughout this hard-fought case.

August 7, 2019 – Status Update

Yesterday afternoon, the parties participated in a status conference with EEOC Judge Roberts-Draper. The call was very lengthy, lasting almost three hours. Judge Roberts-Draper indicated that she would issue a written order providing her decisions on some pending procedural motions. Here is a copy of the Order.

Of note, Judge Roberts-Draper continued to express a strong desire to expedite the claims process in order to provide appropriate relief to claimants. On the other hand, the Judge acknowledged the extraordinary difficulties associated with a case of this magnitude and complexity. In addition, the Judge made it clear that individual relief decisions would not be issued in the immediate future.

Please continue to check this website for updates, and thanks as always for your support and patience throughout this lengthy legal process.

July 15, 2019 – Status Update – Claim Statements Filed

As of July 15, 2019, we have filed a legal brief (Statement) and evidence on behalf of all Claimants who are represented by our law firms. We organized and submitted all available documentation in accordance with the Case Management Order. The EEOC Judge now has submissions from both sides regarding relief for all Claimants.

The next status conference with the EEOC Judge is scheduled for August 2019. We will promptly update this website as soon as we have news to report.

Thank you for your support, assistance, and patience throughout this claims process. We hope that we are now a big step closer to seeing actual relief provided to all those harmed by the NRP.

Of note, we may request feedback or clarification from some Claimants in the next few weeks. If you receive a request for information from us, please reply as soon as possible. Thank you again for your cooperation and patience.

June 2019 – Status Update – Submission Regarding “Partially Accepted” Claims

As you may be aware, USPS disputed every claim submitted in this case. On the other hand, USPS “partially accepted” some parts of a small percentage of claims (less than 2%). (Even in that small subset of claims, the Postal Service has not yet paid a single dollar to any claimant, to the best of our knowledge.) Recently, USPS asked the Judge to create a new, slower process for handling these “partially accepted” claims. Today we filed our response to the USPS filing, pointing out that the USPS proposal would slow down the processing of these claims for no good reason. Further, we urged the Judge to direct USPS to promptly provide claimants with the partial relief that USPS has already conceded in these claims. Under our proposal, the claimants who have already obtained partial concessions from USPS will receive the benefit of that relief now, while continuing to seek full recovery through the normal EEOC claim-adjudication process set forth in the Case Management Order.

The Judge has indicated a desire to resolve this issue promptly, if possible. We will provide an update to the website as soon as the Judge issues a decision. In the meantime, we continue to collect and organize a very large amount of claim information for timely submission to the Judge. If you receive a request from us for additional information, we urge you to respond as soon as possible. Thanks as always for your ongoing patience, and your assistance in this case.

June 2019 – Status Update - USPS Provides Some NRP Files to Counsel

The Administrative Judge ordered USPS to provide certain missing NRP Activity File pages to the attorneys by May 28, 2019. USPS provided a limited number of the missing pages to counsel by that date, but refused to produce all of the files that we sought. We will promptly pursue this issue through the appropriate process. Please note that the Judge did not order USPS to provide a copy of the NRP Activity File documents directly to any claimants in the case.

As before, our plan is to submit the NRP Activity File documents, along with all the other evidence related to your claims, plus a legal brief, by the July 15, 2019 deadline set by the Administrative Judge. We are pressing forward and will not be deterred, despite this latest delay tactic by USPS.

May 2019 – Status Update

A lengthy status conference was held with the Administrative Judge on May 13, 2019. As before, the EEOC Judge indicated a strong desire to move the claims process forward as quickly as possible. On the other hand, the Judge emphasized that the very large number of claimants in this case is unprecedented, and the Judge observed that she has a limited amount of time and resources to devote to this case. Continued patience is therefore required.

One important issue was decided during the status conference. We had asked that the Judge order USPS to provide the NRP Activity Files for every Claimant directly to the Judge and the Claimants themselves. The Judge partially granted our motion. Pursuant to the Judge’s order, we will present the USPS attorneys with a list of all pages that were missing (or otherwise unreadable) from the USPS production of NRP Activity Files for Claimants who hired our law firms. The Judge ordered USPS to produce the identified documents to us no later than May 28, 2019. As a result of the Judge’s order, we soon should have all NRP Activity Files in connection with our firms’ clients. The Judge did not approve our request for NRP Activity Files to be provided regarding Claimants who did not hire our law firms, but said that she would wait to see the filings regarding those claims to determine whether she will order USPS to provide her with those NRP Activity Files at a later date.

In addition to issuing this order regarding NRP Activity Files, the EEOC Judge also explained that she is in the process of organizing all of the documents and information submitted by all claimants in this case. The Judge emphasized the very large volume of documentation submitted to her, and also indicated that limited time and assistance was available to her. The Judge expressed a hope that she could begin to review individual claims in late July or August. Again, the Judge demonstrated a strong desire to move the claims process forward as quickly as possible.

Please note that our firms (Thomas & Solomon, and Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris) have stopped taking on new clients in this matter. If you have not previously retained our firms to represent you with your individual claim for relief, we are not now in a position to take on your case. If you have already hired our firms to represent you, we will be filing a legal brief in support of your claim.

Please continue to monitor this website for status updates. And if you are a client of our firms and you have not already done so, please complete and send to us a Declaration form as soon as possible (no later than May 28, 2019). (A copy of the Declaration form is available by clicking this link). Thank you!

April 18, 2019 – Status Update – Motion Filed to Force USPS to Submit NRP Files

Our battle with the Postal Service continues regarding their refusal to provide evidence to the EEOC Judge in connection with individual claims for relief. We have asked the EEOC Judge to force the Postal Service to provide the NRP Files created by USPS management directly to the EEOC Judge and to each claimant, so that the EEOC Judge will have this highly-relevant information while assessing individual claims for relief.

To see the Motion that was filed, CLICK HERE.

We will post an update to this webpage as soon as a ruling is issued on this Motion.

April 9, 2019 – Status Update for Our Clients

The Judge issued an order today, providing us with an extra 90 days to file submissions for our clients. With this clarification, we will continue the time-consuming process of preparing the claim submissions for the Judge’s consideration. A significant amount of legal work remains to be accomplished as we press forward on every front.

If you have not yet provided a Declaration to us, you now have one last opportunity: if you provide us with a Declaration as soon as possible and no later than April 30, 2019, we will be able to include your Declaration in a timely submission to the Judge. We strongly encourage you to submit a completed Declaration to us in order to enhance your claim for monetary relief. You can access the Declaration (with instructions) by clicking here. This same deadline (April 30, 2019) applies to all supporting documentation you would like to submit to us.

Please note, if you reached out to our office recently and have not yet heard back from us, we are returning calls in the order received. Of course, please feel free to call our office again at 585-272-0540, and you may be able to get through.

April 8, 2019 – Status Update

As previously reported, we have filed an extension request with the Judge. The Judge has indicated generally that a reasonable extension of time will be allowed, but the Judge has not yet issued a written order. As soon as the Judge issues a written ruling on our motion for extension of time, we will post updated information on this website.

The bottom-line is this: we will take all steps necessary to provide the Judge with timely submissions for all our clients.

Thanks to all who have returned Declarations to us. We are continuing the process of organizing this information as fast as possible.

In the past few weeks, we received a very large number of calls and emails related to this case. We continue to respond to each call and email in the order received. If you have not yet received a call back, you may try to call us again, and you may be able to get through. In any event, please rest assured that we will return all messages. As always, we greatly appreciate your patience during this process.

Many of you have asked about the next steps in the EEOC process. Because the enormous volume of individual claims is unprecedented at the EEOC, no one is completely certain about the precise path that the litigation will take. But the general direction is clear: the Judge wants to move the claim process forward as fast as possible. Accordingly, we are pressing forward on all fronts, and our goal remains as before: we seek full recovery for all our clients.

A reminder: before calling us, please review the following sources to see if your question has already been addressed: FAQs on this website; the instructions letter that accompanied the Declaration form; and the informational videos prepared by our firms (with links below).

March 26, 2019 – Status Update on Deadlines

Previously, we urged all of our clients to complete and return Declaration forms to us no later than March 25, 2019. If you have already done so, thank you! If you have not yet completed and returned the Declaration form to us, please do so as soon as possible. If we receive your completed Declaration form by April 1, 2019, we will be able to satisfy the deadlines in this case.

In the past few days, we have received a very large number of calls and emails related to this case. We are responding to each call and email in the order received. It may take a few days for us to work through this large volume of inquiries, but we are dedicated to handling every question from our clients in a timely manner. We greatly appreciate your patience during this process.

Please note that the answers to many questions can be found on this website (see below), or in the instructions letter that accompanied the Declaration form, or in the informational videos prepared by our firms (with links below).

We have filed an extension request with the Judge. The Judge indicated during our status conference last week that an order regarding our filing deadline would be forthcoming soon. We will take all steps necessary to provide the Judge with timely submissions for all our clients. As soon as the Judge issues a ruling on our motion for extension of time, we will post updated information on this website.

During the status conference last week, the Judge clearly indicated a strong desire to move the claim process forward as fast as possible, while also appreciating the logistical challenges associated with a case involving 28,000+ individual claims. Like the Judge, our ongoing pledge to you is to continue pushing the claims process forward as far as possible and as fast as possible. Please don’t be discouraged: we are closer than ever to obtaining the relief you deserve from the Postal Service!

March 21, 2019 – Status Update

Click here to see the latest news on the case.

March 11, 2019 – Status Update – CLAIM DECLARATION FORMS AVAILABLE NOW – COMPLETED DECLARATIONS MUST BE RETURNED VERY QUICKLY

Here are 10 things for every claimant to know RIGHT NOW:

1. We are mailing Claim Declaration forms to all of the Class Members who have retained our firms to represent them in the claims process. You should receive a form in the mail by March 18, 2019. A copy of the Declaration form is being sent by e-mail to those Class Members who have sent us an e-mail address, and a copy of the Declaration form is also available by clicking here.

2. The Declaration form contains information that the EEOC Judge has requested for each claimant. Accordingly, you need to provide us with this information NOW in order to maintain your claims for relief from the Postal Service.

3. You should complete, sign and return the Declaration form to our offices as soon as possible. At the very latest, you must complete, sign and return the form to us by March 25, 2019.

4. Detailed instructions on completing the Declaration form are available by clicking here. For most claimants, filling out the form will take less than one hour.

5. Along with your completed Declaration form, you can also provide us with: a Continuation Sheet to provide additional information; Witness Statements from those close to you who witnessed the impact of the NRP on your life and health; and other records that you would like considered along with your claim. Additional Continuation Sheets and Witness Statement forms are available by clicking here.

6. Once you return to us a signed completed Declaration form and any other documents supporting your claim, we will prepare a complete claim package (including legal argument) for submission to the EEOC Judge. We need you to return the completed, signed Declaration form to us no later than March 25, 2019, in order for us to prepare and submit your complete claim package (including legal argument) to the EEOC Judge in a timely fashion.

7. Please note: if you previously sent supporting documents to us, you do not need to re-send those documents to us. However, even if you previously sent documents and information to us, you MUST complete and sign the Declaration form and return it to us no later than March 25, 2019.

8. We will not submit claim packages for claimants who have not retained our firms to represent them in the claims process. If you have not previously retained our firms but you wish to do so at this time, please call 585-272-0540 in order to request a retainer agreement for you to sign.

9. If you have questions related to filling out the Declaration form, please call us at 585-272-0540. Before calling, please review the instructions carefully and be sure to check www.NRPclassaction.com, because the answer to your question may be answered there. There are over 25,000 class member claimants, and you may encounter a delay in getting through to us at this busy time.

10. Please do not give up on your claims for relief! You have come too far in the process to quit now. If you quit now, the Postal Service will get away with causing you harm, and justice will not be served. It is fair and right for you to seek relief for the harm caused to you by the Postal Service. Therefore, please spend an hour of your day to complete, sign and return the Declaration form to us no later than March 25, 2019.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important task!

Videos To Help You Complete The Declaration Form

 
 
 
 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions About Claim Declaration – March 2019

What decision are you talking about?

On February 27, 2019, the EEOC Administrative Judge issued a Case Management Order. The Order states that the process to be used is that the Postal Service is to submit their legal brief and evidence by March 19, 2019, and then Claimants have 20 days to submit their legal brief and evidence. We are asking that everyone return the paperwork that we have mailed to you so that it arrives in our office by no later than March 25, 2019.

What happens if I have not yet retained you, but now I want to?

There is still time to retain us. We can send you out a retainer letter that must be signed and returned to our office. Please also send us a copy of the initial claim form and any supporting documents you submitted to the postal service, the dispute letter, and the Final Agency Decision. You will also need to fill out the Declaration. You can email the documents to NRPclassaction@theemploymentattorneys.com, fax them to 585-272-0574, or mail them to 693 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607.

I already sent you my documents, can you include them?

Yes, we will include any documents you have provided to our office. You do not need to send us documents that you already sent us. If you have any additional documents, please make sure to include them with the completed Declaration.

I already answered questions like the questions in the Declaration form; do I really have to spend more time answering these questions?

Yes. The EEOC Judge has issued a Case Management Order requiring all claimants to submit information to verify class membership and identify all categories of relief. The Declaration form is designed to help you go through all the necessary questions in an efficient manner. For most people, it will take less than one hour to complete the Declaration.

Will I receive any money? How much money will I get?

Whether you get any money and how much is determined by the EEOC’s decision on your claim. The types of relief you could be entitled to are based on your particular situation and may include lost pay and benefits, reinstatement to your job at the Postal Service, along with reinstatement of any accommodations the Postal Service withdrew as part of the NRP. You may also be able to obtain relief for harm from harassment you experienced as a consequence of the NRP. The EEOC may award you up to a maximum of $300,000 for proven harm caused by the NRP, including damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress. The EEOC will review your submission and determine what categories of relief you are eligible for, and will also decide the dollar amount for your damages award (if any). Our goal is to help you submit appropriate information in order to obtain all relief that is possible for your situation.

After I complete and sign the Declaration form, where do I mail it to?

For this submission, you must mail the completed, signed Declaration form to us by March 25, 2019. We will file your Declaration (along with additional information and legal argument) to the EEOC Judge. Our mailing address is:

Thomas & Solomon LLP
693 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607

Can I fax or scan it back to you?

Yes. Our email address is nrpclassaction@theemploymentattorneys.com and our fax is 585-272-0574.

Do I need to keep a copy of my Declaration?

We recommend that you keep a copy of your written Declaration and any supporting documents that you submit.

What if I miss the deadline to submit the Declaration?

Our office has filed an emergency motion for reconsideration of the EEOC Judge’s decision in order to ensure that all claimants have sufficient time to complete the paperwork. Until we know if our motion has been granted, you should proceed as though the Declaration should be returned to our office by March 25, 2019.

I recently completed an online survey for this case that asked very similar questions, and I would like to see my answers to the survey; can you help me do that?

Yes, we can email you a copy of your responses, but please be aware that the survey information came through to our office in an excel file, so the responses are not necessarily easy to follow. Nevertheless, those survey responses might help give you a starting point!

I am not sure if I was subjected to review by the NRP. What should I do?

Those reviewed under the NRP were USPS employees who had OWCP (or workers compensation, or injury compensation) claims. They likely worked at some point between May 5, 2006 and July 1, 2011 in a modified limited duty position, a rehabilitation position, or perhaps in a light duty position. If you believe that you fall in these categories, you should return a completed, signed Declaration form to us no later than March 25, 2019.

Do you have my NRP file?

Yes, the Postal Service should have provided us the NRP file for each person. We will include appropriate documents from your NRP file when we submit your Declaration and our legal argument to the EEOC Judge.

How long will it take for me to get a money award after I submit a written claim?

We cannot predict how long this process will take. We will post status updates on the claims process on this website. On the one hand, the EEOC Judge is clearly interested in prompt forward action for this case, but on the other hand the EEOC has never handled a case with this many individual claims. Our goal is to move the claims forward as fast as possible with a fair and efficient process for all claimants.

I want to make sure that you are representing me in my claim - do I need to fill out a new retainer agreement?

For most people, the answer is “no.” Most people previously filled out a claim for individual relief form that included a written designation of our law firms to represent them. Other people used a different claim form, then filled out a written retainer agreement with our office. If you did either of those two things, then there is no need to fill out another retainer agreement. If you would like to retain our firms at this time to represent you in your individual claim, please let us know immediately, and we will send you a retainer letter that must be signed by you and returned to our office.

How many witness statements should I get?

There is not a magic number for how much information should be submitted. If you think you have witnesses who can provide a supporting statement, go ahead and ask them to do so. The Declaration packet we mailed to you includes a sample Witness Statement form that can be used for this purpose.

Who should I get to complete a witness statement?

You may want to consider friends and family members who observed a change in your personality or emotional state after the NRP. For example, family members might provide statements confirming that, after you were reviewed pursuant to the NRP, they noticed that you were sad, distracted, and angry, and that this was different from how you were before. This is just an example; witnesses should include an accurate description of the changes in you that they noticed.

Can I submit additional pages with the declaration/witness statement?

Yes, feel free to use additional pages.

Can I speak with an attorney?

Yes, but before you call us please review the cover letter and all instructions in the mailing and on this website. The most important thing right now is for you to complete the Declaration to the best of your ability, as accurately as possible. Go ahead and read through the instructions we provided and do the best that you can. If you have questions that are not answered on the instructions or on this website, please call 585-272-0540.

What happens if I don’t have medical documentation?

The EEOC has repeatedly stated that it is not necessary to provide medical support in order to obtain an award of compensatory damages. However, medical information can help support your claim for damages. If you have medical information related to the harm you experienced as a result of the NRP, you should submit that medical information now if possible. The EEOC does not require any particular format for medical information; medical reports, print-outs, and medical notes may all be provided. In addition, you can use the “continuation sheet” of the Declaration to add information regarding any medical diagnosis you may have received as a result of the NRP (such as “depression” or “anxiety”), and medication prescribed as a result of the NRP.

What happens if I cannot remember or I don’t know the answers?

Just do the best that you can with any information that you know. It is important for the information in your Declaration to be accurate, but it is ok for you to provide approximate dates if necessary. It is also ok to provide a person’s position title if you don’t remember a person’s name. Again, do the best you can with the information you know. After we receive your completed, signed Declaration, we will include your NRP file, as well as any documents that you may have provided to our office in the past or with your Declaration. In the claim submission to the EEOC Judge, we will also provide a legal brief containing argument in favor of all the relief possible for you.

What happens if I need additional pages?

If you need additional continuation sheets or witness statements, you can download additional copies from the website www.nrpclassaction.com. You are also allowed to use your own paper.

This process has taken so long already – are we any closer to getting our relief?

Yes. The EEOC has conclusively determined in a Final Decision that the Postal Service discriminated against the class as a whole. Now the EEOC Judge must evaluate the individual claims to determine what relief is appropriate for each claimant. This has been a long and hard-fought battle against the Postal Service, but the end is in sight.

What is “constructive discharge”? How should I fill in that part of the claim Declaration?

The EEOC Decision in this case recognizes that many class members had no option other than retirement, separation, or resignation as a result of the NRP. The legal term for this situation is “constructive discharge.” Section 7 of the Declaration form will help you figure out if your situation is covered by “constructive discharge.” Here are three suggestions in connection with constructive discharge claims.

First, you should read over all of the statements in Section 7 of the Declaration form, to see which statements apply to you. You should mark the boxes for every statement that applies to your situation. It is possible that several of these statements may apply to you, so be sure to mark all statements that apply in your situation.

Second, you should consider providing additional information in a Continuation sheet. For example, if a manager told you that you had no other option than to retire, you should write out on a Continuation sheet a brief description of who said it to you and an approximate date, to the best you can. Or if you were told that no work would be available for you, you should use a Continuation sheet to describe how you learned that, and an approximate date. You should include in a Continuation sheet a description of why you concluded or felt that you had to retire or separate at that time.

If applicable to you, here are some possible short statements that can help explain what happened:
■ My Manager told me that I had no other option but to retire; or
■ I learned that my limited duty job was going to be taken away from me, and that there would be nothing left for me. So I understood that I had no option but to retire; or
■ I was told that I would be sent to work for Walmart; or
■ They indicated that I would lose my job and my retirement benefits, so I felt I had no option except to retire; or
■ They would not give me an assignment that fit with my medical restrictions, so I had no option but to retire; or
■ My work hours were cut down so much, and my pay was reduced so badly, I had no option but to retire.
If you are providing information on a Continuation sheet, it is a good idea to include names and approximate dates (if you are able to). The more detail you can provide regarding your forced decision to leave your job, the more information the EEOC Judge will have in order to decide your claim for constructive discharge.

Third, it is a good idea to include a Witness statement to help confirm why you concluded that you had no option other than separation, resignation or retirement. For example, a family member might be able to provide a short statement confirming what you experienced at that time, and explaining that you were forced to leave your job long before you planned on leaving.

In sum, by providing additional accurate information to the EEOC Judge regarding your experience, you can help the Judge understand your constructive discharge claim.

What should I include on a Continuation sheet about the harassment I suffered?

To help support your claim that you were harassed as part of the NRP, you should consider providing additional information in a Continuation sheet. If applicable to you, here are some possible short statements that can help explain what happened:
■ My Manager told me that I might be sent to work for Walmart or another company.
■ My co-workers made fun of me, and told me that I would end up being sent to work for Walmart.
■ My Supervisor complained about my limitations.
■ My Supervisors or co-workers called me lazy due to my restrictions.
You may want to include specific examples of statements that were made to you on your Continuation sheet. You should include specific names of people that harassed you, and approximate dates to the best you can.

How does the contingency fee work?

A contingency fee is only paid if we obtain a recovery for you. If you receive nothing as a result of your claim, you would owe us nothing. If we do get a recovery for you, from the final award that you receive in this case, we would be entitled to 30% of the gross, pre-tax total. You could authorize the Postal Service to pay the 30% contingency fee directly to us, and that way it would be clear for tax purposes that you did not receive that additional amount as part of your final money award. If the EEOC orders the Postal Service to pay attorney fees related to your claim, those fees would come directly to us and not relate in any way to the 30% contingency fee payment.

Of course, as the case proceeds, we are unable to predict what the final outcome will be. However, in the event the case settles at some point in the future, we would seek to have the Postal Service pay all of the fees in this case so that the class members do not have to pay those fees from their individual recoveries. At the present time, though, because there is no settlement, we are prepared to represent you on an individual basis to make your claim for recovery with a fee agreement on that basis.

March 21, 2019 – Status Update

Following a status conference on March 20, 2019, the EEOC Administrative Judge issued an order.

USPS continues it’s stubborn opposition to providing money relief to claimants. USPS has submitted disputes to the EEOC for over 28,000 claims; to the best of our knowledge USPS has provisionally and/or partially “accepted” less than one percent of claims, and has made zero payments to any claimants.

We all recognize this behavior by USPS: deny, deny, dispute, delay, until a Judge orders otherwise. At the status conference, USPS called more plays from this old playbook. The EEOC Judge, on the other hand, has clearly demonstrated a desire to move forward as efficiently as possible. The Judge did clarify that our firms no longer serve as Class Counsel to all claimants, but that we do represent those claimants who have retained us to represent them with their claims. You can see the order by clicking here.

March 1, 2019 – Status Update – CLASS COUNSEL SEEKS RECONSIDERATION

Class Counsel has asked the EEOC Administrative Judge to reconsider, or at least delay the effect of, the recently-issued Case Management Order until after the scheduled March 20, 2019 status conference. A copy of Class Counsel's motion is available by clicking here.

Class Counsel has proposed a process based on a successful approach used in numerous large-scale class actions. As you know, the EEOC has already entered a strong finding of discrimination against the Class as a whole, and we want to ensure that the claims process provides every Class Member a fair and reasonable opportunity to obtain all relief to which they are entitled under law, as efficiently as possible. In addition, we have concerns with the Postal Service’s continuing efforts to break apart the Class and over-burden the EEOC. We all owe much of our success in this case to the unity, strength, and perseverance that the Class has shown in the face of unceasing attacks by the Postal Service for more than ten years.

We will provide an update as soon as further news is available. Please continue to monitor this website over the upcoming weeks for additional important information.

February 27, 2019 – IMPORTANT UPDATE – EEOC ISSUES CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER

On February 27, 2019, the EEOC Administrative Judge issued a Case Management Order. The Order does not accept the plan proposed by Class Counsel. The Order sets out that Class Members who did not retain Class Counsel are not represented by our law firms. The Order also states that the process to be used is that the Postal Service is to submit their legal brief and evidence by March 19, 2019; and that Class Member claimants are to submit their response briefs and evidence 20 days after that (although the Order notes that extensions to the deadlines may be permitted).

For those Class Members who have designated Class Counsel as their representatives during the relief process, we will be sending you a form to be completed and returned to be used to support your claim. We will provide you with written instructions on what to include to support your claim. Our law firms will compile that information and evidence along with other evidence that we already have in our possession, and submit a legal brief in support of your claim by the deadline ultimately set by the Administrative Judge.

We encourage every Class Member claimant to fully participate in this stage of the case, so that you can maximize the relief available to you. In the near future, we will address frequently asked questions regarding the form and evidence on this website.

A copy of the Case Management Order is available by clicking here.

February 27, 2019 – Status Update – USPS SEEKS TO DIVIDE AND UNDERCUT CLASS MEMBER CLAIMS FOR RELIEF

On February 26, 2019, USPS attorneys filed a response to Class Counsel's Motion for Entry of a Case Management Order. The Postal Service attacks Class Counsel's role in the process, renaming them as "Phase I Class Counsel," and referring to Ms. McConnell as "Phase I Class Agent."

USPS asks that the EEOC simply take their word that all Class Members were properly notified in March 2018, despite evidence to the contrary.

USPS proposes that all Class Members move forward independently through a process that seeks to hide evidence from the Class Members and the EEOC Administrative Judge, seeks to endlessly hold up decisions on the relief claims, and ultimately undercuts every Class Member's claim for relief.

A copy of the USPS Response brief and the USPS proposed Case Management Order is available by clicking here.

We will continue to vigorously oppose the Postal Service's attempt to shield information from Class Members and the EEOC Administrative Judge. We will fight the USPS attempt to break apart the certified class and extinguish claims for relief one by one. We will strive for a fair and efficient process that considers all important evidence and provides all relief that is due to the victims of the NRP.

A status conference with the EEOC Administrative Judge is scheduled for March 20, 2019. We expect that the Administrative Judge will issue an order regarding these issues some time after the March 20, 2019 status conference. We will provide an update after the status conference.

February 11, 2019 – Status Update – Class proposes “case management order” that would establish a comprehensive claims determination process

Now that the Postal Service has disputed every individual claim for relief (over 28,000), the EEOC must establish a fair and efficient claims determination process in accordance with EEOC rules. The EEOC has never been faced with a claimant class this large.

On February 11, 2019, Class Counsel filed a proposed “Case Management Order” to establish a comprehensive claims determination process. Our submission may be viewed here.

As you will see, our proposal addresses both fairness and efficiency. Our proposed “Case Management Order” calls for immediate processing of 50 initial claims, including opportunities for limited discovery. This proposal is consistent with many other successful class actions. Experience shows that the claims determination process speeds up tremendously after the initial batch of claims is addressed. In other words, a process starting with 50 claims can ramp up to 500 claims, and so on. Our approach would lead to the fastest means of considering all Class Member claims in a fair manner.

Our proposed “Case Management Order” is carefully tailored to this unprecedented case. Our proposal recognizes the limits on the EEOC’s case-processing capacity, as well as the Postal Service’s unyielding opposition to fair resolution of your claims. As always, we pledge to continue our hard fight for forward progress, advancing as far as possible, as fast as possible.

The Postal Service will submit its response to our proposed “Case Management Order” in approximately 15 days. After that, the EEOC Administrative Judge assigned to this case will issue an order regarding the claims determination process. We will promptly provide an update on this website as soon as that information is available.

We deeply appreciate your extraordinary patience as this lengthy process moves forward. Without your patience and persistence, the Postal Service would have won without a fight. We will do everything in our power to reward your patience by fighting for a fair and reasonable determination of your individual claims for relief.

January 17, 2019 – Status Update

We understand that some class members who submitted claims for individual relief have received response letters again from the Postal Service. Please send our office a copy of any letters that you receive from the Postal Service as soon as possible.  We recommend emailing such letters to us at NRPclassaction@theemploymentattorneys.com or faxing us at 585-272-0574. There is nothing further you need to do at this time, but we will be in touch in the coming weeks if we need anything additional from you.

December 20, 2018 – Status Update – Notice of Vacated Final Agency Decision

Given the final decision from the EEOC regarding our appeal (see below), the Postal Service has begun sending out Notice of Vacated Final Agency Decisions and Contact Information Update Sheets.   Our contact information is as follows:

Law Firm:
Thomas & Solomon LLP

Address:
693 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607

Phone:
585-272-0540

Email Address:
NRPclassaction@theemploymentattorneys.com

December 17, 2018 – Status Update – Decision on Appeal regarding Premature FADs

As previously reported on June 27, 2018 (see below), the Postal Service prematurely issued thousands of Final Agency Decisions in this case, thereby undermining the ability of class members to provide a full presentation in support of their claims for individual relief.  We appealed this improper action by the Postal Service.  We have recently received a final decision from the EEOC regarding our appeal.  The EEOC agreed with our position.  As a result, all individual claims will be sent back to the Administrative Judge for appropriate processing, in accordance with EEOC Management Directive 110, Chapter 8, Section XII.C.  This is a good development, but a lengthy fight remains in order to obtain a just and fair result.  There is no action needed at this time on your individual claim. Our offices will be in touch with you when you need to take additional steps.

October 8, 2018 – Status Update – CONTACT US IF USPS SENDS YOU FORMS

The Postal Service has sent forms to be completed by some claimants. If you have retained our firms to represent you, and if you have received forms recently from USPS, please call us immediately at 585-272-0540 to discuss completing these forms. Please also send us a copy of the forms as the Postal Service has NOT sent copies to your attorneys.

Before sending your completed forms to the Postal Service, please contact us, make a copy for your records, and then send our office a copy.

August 31, 2018 – Status Update

Appeal brief has been filed.

August 1, 2018 – Status Update

Appeal pending. See below for more information.

July 18, 2018 – Status Update – Notice of Appeal Filed

Click here for a copy of the notice of appeal filed on July 12, 2018.

June 27, 2018 – Status Update – Final Agency Decisions Issued Prematurely by USPS

We have learned that the Postal Service has begun issuing Final Agency Decisions (FADs) on individual claims, summarily rejecting all relief. We believe that this action by the Postal Service is improper.

EEOC guidance sets forth an orderly process for the Administrative Judge to review and adjudicate disputed individual claims after class-wide discrimination has been found. (See EEOC Management Directive 110,Chapter 8, Section XII.C.) The Postal Service is disrupting the process by issuing premature FADs. We have filed an Emergency Petition for Enforcement with the EEOC, seeking an order directing the Postal Service to withdraw premature FADs, thus clearing the way for the Administrative Judge to review relief claims and develop the record as appropriate.

We hope the EEOC will act quickly to restore order to this process. Nevertheless, we are prepared to file an appeal from the FADs by July 12, 2018. This date (July 12, 2018) is well before the 30-day deadline for filing an appeal from the earliest FAD that we know about.

What you need to do: The Postal Service HAS NOT sent copies of the FADs to us. If you receive a Final Agency Decision related to the McConnell/NRP class complaint, please provide our office with a copy as soon as possible. We recommend emailing FADs to us at NRPclassaction@theemploymentattorneys.com or faxing us at (585) 272-0574.

Do you need to file an individual appeal from the FAD? It depends. The EEOC previously approved us as Class Counsel in this case, and we will continue to advocate on behalf of the class as a whole. But we expect the Postal Service to argue that we cannot file an appeal for class members unless they have retained us in writing on an individual basis which is why we have given that option to class members to retain us individually to prevent the Postal Service from even making that argument for anyone who does so. Accordingly, it is a good idea to proceed cautiously.

If you have previously retained Class Counsel to represent you in your individual claim, we will specifically name you in our appeal from the FADs, and you do not need to submit a separate FAD appeal notice to the EEOC.

On the other hand, if you have not yet retained Class Counsel to represent you in your individual claim, we will not include your name in our appeal from the FADs, and it will be necessary (in an abundance of caution) for you to file your own separate appeal notice to the EEOC before the deadline set forth in the FAD you receive.

There is still time for you to retain Class Counsel to represent you in your individual claim for purposes of appealing from the FADs, and in connection with future proceedings before the Administrative Judge (including developing the record as appropriate). If you now would like to retain Class Counsel on an individual basis in an abundance of caution, please contact us at NRPclassaction@theemploymentattorneys.com or by calling us at (585) 272-0540 or faxing us at (585) 272-0574.

We will provide updated information regarding the process on this website. Please continue to monitor this website for updates. Thank you.

June 19, 2018 – Status Update

Many class members who submitted claims for individual relief have received response letters from the Postal Service. The Postal Service HAS NOT sent copies of these letters to your attorneys. Please provide our office a copy of any letters that you receive from the Postal Service as soon as possible. We recommend emailing such letters to us at NRPclassaction@theemploymentattorneys.com or faxing us at (585) 272-0574.

If the notice letter you received from the Postal Service states that the USPS is disputing part or all of your claim, your individual claim is to be presented to the EEOC Administrative Judge. The Postal Service is responsible for sending your claim to the Administrative Judge -- you do not need to take any action to bring your claim before the Administrative Judge. The Administrative Judge has not yet announced the process or timeline for reviewing claims. We have submitted a proposed plan to the Administrative Judge for consideration, but no order has yet been issued. Until the Administrative Judge orders your claim to go forward, there is no action that you need to take at this time.

Please note that if the Postal Service disputes your claim and sends the claim to the Administrative Judge, the Postal Service's 90-day deadline to issue a Final Decision on your claim is automatically stayed or extended. That means that your claim will have to be processed and reviewed by the EEOC Administrative Judge before the Postal Service will be required to issue a Final Decision. We do not yet have any estimate on the length of time that this process will take.

To the best of our knowledge at this time, the Postal Service has disputed every class member claim (in whole or in part).

The EEOC Administrative Judge may allow the parties to conduct discovery of documents and information, and take sworn depositions related to claims. If you have not yet retained Class Counsel to represent you in your individual claim, and you now would like to retain Class Counsel, please contact us at NRPclassaction@theemploymentattorneys.com or by calling us at (585) 272-0540 or faxing us at (585) 272-0574.

We will provide updated information regarding the process on this website. Please continue to monitor this website for updates. Thank you.

June 6, 2018 – Status Update

We understand that some class members who submitted claims for individual relief have received response letters from the Postal Service. Please send our office a copy of any letters that you receive from the Postal Service as soon as possible. We recommend emailing such letters to us at NRPclassaction@theemploymentattorneys.com or faxing us at 585-272-0574. We will be in touch in the coming weeks if we need anything additional from you.

Frequently Asked Questions - McConnell Claim Process

If you have questions about the NRP class action claims process, please review this FAQ section. If your questions are not answered here, please call us: (585) 272-0540 or toll free at (877) 272-4066. Our team is standing by!

Why should I submit a claim?

The only way for an individual class member to receive any monetary recovery is to submit a timely claim package. We believe the Postal Service must be held accountable for the consequences of its discrimination. Otherwise, the Postal Service and other employers will continue to discriminate against workers with disabilities. Our suggested claim form is easy to complete. Show the Postal Service that discrimination has consequences – please submit a timely claim!

Is this a settlement?

No, there has been no settlement of this case. We fought this case all the way to a final decision, and the EEOC judge and appeals office found that the NRP was discriminatory. All those who were harmed by the NRP discrimination should submit a timely written claim.

What happens if a class member has passed away?

The class member’s estate (or surviving relative) can submit a claim form on behalf of the class member. It is important to state the name of the deceased class member, and the contact information for the estate (or surviving relative).

Why is there a 30% contingency fee on the recovery I get?

Because this is not a settlement, we are agreeing to represent each individual class member who retains us through the individual EEOC claims process. The 30% contingency fee therefore covers the additional work we will perform on your behalf to help you get any money and other relief you may be entitled to receive as a class member. That work includes representing you in your individual claim through the entire EEOC claims process. To the best of our knowledge, the Postal Service has disputed every individual’s claim for relief. If the Postal Service disputes your claim in any way, we will represent you in proceedings throughout the process. We will represent you before an EEOC administrative judge. We will conduct discovery and an investigation into your claim, based on the information we already have about the case and in seeking new information and records related to your claim. The judge may wish for a live hearing to determine the proper award for your claim. If you are unsatisfied with the Postal Service's final decision on your claim, which would come after the EEOC judge makes a determination, we would represent you in an appeal of that decision to the EEOC in Washington.

How does the contingency fee work?

A contingency fee is only paid if we obtain a recovery for you. If you receive nothing as a result of your claim, you would owe us nothing. If we do get a recovery for you, from the final award that you receive in this case, we would be entitled to 30% of the gross, pre-tax total. You could authorize the Postal Service to pay the 30% contingency fee directly to us, and that way it would be clear for tax purposes that you did not receive that additional amount as part of your final money award. If the EEOC orders the Postal Service to pay attorney fees related to your claim, those fees would come directly to us and not relate in any way to the 30% contingency fee payment.

Of course, as the case proceeds, we are unable to predict what the final outcome will be. However, in the event the case settles at some point in the future, we would seek to have the Postal Service pay all of the fees in this case so that the class members do not have to pay those fees from their individual recoveries. At the present time, though, because there is no settlement, we are prepared to represent you on an individual basis to make your claim for recovery with a fee agreement on that basis.

Do I need to report any money I receive for tax purposes?

Unfortunately, we are not tax attorneys, so we suggest you contact your financial advisor.

Will this impact my disability or social security claims?

Merely submitting the claim form does not endanger your disability or social security claims. You can always reject any offer that is made to you by the Postal Service in the future.

If I receive money from this case, will I have to reimburse OWCP?

It is likely that the Postal Service will take into account your OWCP payments when calculating any backpay that is owed to you. Therefore, to the best of our understanding, it is very unlikely that USPS will pay you any money that must then be paid by you to OWCP. If you wish, you can specifically request that USPS take into account your payments from OWCP when calculating any backpay that is owed to you.

If I agree for you to represent me, will you take a 30% fee on money that I must pay back to the United States due to alleged overpayment to me by OWCP or OPM or Social Security?

No. Our 30% fee will not be applied to any part of your recovery that you are required to pay back to the United States due to alleged overpayment to you by OWCP or OPM or Social Security.

Will I have to pay both law firms a 30% contingency fee (for a total of 60%)?

No. If you retain us, your total contingency fee payment will be 30%. The two law firms that serve as Class Counsel will work together to represent you, and your 30% contingency fee will cover all contingency fee payments to the law firms.

If I am awarded something for my claim that I do not choose to accept, do I still owe a 30% contingency fee on the value of the relief that I turn down?

No, your 30% contingency fee is only on the value of relief that you receive. If you retain us and you turn down some relief that is offered as part of your claim, you would pay no contingency fee related to that rejected relief. However, before you turn down any relief, you should speak with Class Counsel to explore your options. There may be better options that would work in your benefit.

If my claim is simply accepted by the Postal Service, would I still owe a 30% contingency fee?

Yes, if you retain us, you will owe a 30% contingency fee on the value of your recovery. Even if the Postal Service dramatically changes its tactics by accepting the entirety of your claim, there may still remain complicated issues, such as the proper value of any back pay or interest due to you. If you retain us, Class Counsel will review that information to ensure that you are provided all the relief you are due, and file an appeal if necessary in order to achieve that result.

* ATTORNEY ADVERTISING * NRP Class Action is being handled by Thomas & Solomon LLP. * Damage awards in other lawsuits are only identified as an example of the types of settlements obtained and are not a guarantee of whether any recovery may be obtained in this case, or how much will be awarded.* Please Contact Us if you have any questions, comments or if you need information. Thomas & Solomon LLP 693 East Avenue Rochester NY, 14607 (585) 272-0540 (tel) (585) 272-0574 (fax)