Human Resources

USPS Participating in “Respect in the Workplace” EEO Campaign

on

The U.S. Postal Service is participating in an Office of EEO Compliance and Appeals campaign titled “Strengthening OUR Future Through Respect and Inclu­sion.” Here is one of the service talks you may be receiving in the near future:

Being Respectful in the Workplace

Good morning. This is the first in a series of talks to dis­cuss a topic that’s important to the Postal Service and to each of us — respect in our workplace.

I think we can all agree that treating each other with respect is the right thing to do. There’s plenty of evidence that a respectful workplace is both productive and suc­cessful. Respect is also important for our business, and that’s another reason we need to have a desirable right work environment.

We work in a very active facility and competitive busi­ness. So there will be times when things are said or done we don’t like. But if we’re going to work in a respectful envi­ronment, we have to learn how to deal with those situations or, better yet, keep them from happening.

One of the best ways to respect each other is to simply be considerate. Showing basic courtesy in how we speak to and treat others is important. Courtesy, politeness, and a “thank you” go a long way! That sounds like common sense — and it is. Unfortunately, it’s not always common practice.

Another way we can show respect is by listening to each other. Hear people out instead of interrupting. We owe it to each other to listen completely before interrupting with our own opinion.

A respectful workplace is one where people don’t insult each other, spread gossip, or put each other down. Try to choose your words — and your tone of voice — carefully. We can help a lot by lowering our voices.

Our jobs put us in constant contact with other people. So we need to be sensitive to their views and opinions. Let people know we welcome their ideas, even when we dis­agree. Stop and think before we do or say something that might be seen as disrespectful.

I want to finish by talking about what you can do when things don’t go as you’d like and you have a problem with a coworker. It could be something that was said, the way it was said, or something that was done. But you’re unhappy and feel you were disrespected.

Obviously, it’s best if you can work it out peacefully between yourselves. The heat of the moment is usually not the time for that. But after things cool down, it’s helpful to sit and talk things through. It’s best to address issues as soon as possible rather than letting them escalate into something that causes stress and tension, and disrupts our work.

Sometimes we just need to let people have their say, admit if we were wrong, and move on.

But some problems can’t be easily fixed. They may involve illegal behavior such as harassment based on race, color, religion, genetic information, national origin, sex, age (40+), physical or mental disability, or retaliation for engag­ing in prior EEO protected activity. In those cases, it’s important you know the rights and remedies available to you.If you need help resolving an issue of disrespect or harassment, you can contact a supervisor or Human Resources. For issues of illegal harassment, you can also call the EEO number at 888-336-8777 or TTY at 888-325-2914 found on posters in this facility. Call EEO for other issues of illegal discrimination too. In all cases, you can contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 800-EAP-4-YOU (800-327-4968), TTY at 877-492-7341, or online at www.eap4you.com.

If you make an EEO complaint about illegal discrimina­tion or harassment by calling the EEO number, you will be required to engage in counseling. If counseling does not resolve your complaint, you will be able to file a formal complaint of discrimination. If you are not satisfied with the Postal Service’s resolution of your formal complaint, you will be able to appeal to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board, and/or file a lawsuit against the Postal Service, depending on the nature of your complaint.

In some cases, you are able to file a complaint about ille­gal discrimination directly with the Merit Systems Protec­tion Board instead of calling the EEO number. When that is possible, the Postal Service will notify you. Also, if you are covered by a collective-bargaining agreement, you can always file a grievance about illegal discrimination or harassment.

If it is determined that you were treated in a way that was against the law, your remedies could include being placed in the position you would have occupied if the dis­crimination had not occurred, back pay, compensatory damages, and some or all of your attorney’s fees. Once again, the exact remedies available to you depend on the nature of your claim.

All of these rights and remedies are explained in Publi­cation 133, What You Need to Know About EEO.

The important thing is to settle issues in a way that respects everyone’s rights.

There’s a famous quote that says: “Courtesy is the shortest distance between two people.” We want to keep that distance as short as possible by treating each other with respect.

Thank you.

Source: USPS Postal Bulletin