Adverse Action Legal Defense Plan
The United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA) is committed to representing the membership in all areas, including adverse actions. The Adverse Action Legal Defense Fund (AALDF) and the Adverse Action Legal Defense Plan (AALDP) was established for the membership to provide representation to active UPMA members in appealing adverse actions taken against them. Postmasters and Managers receiving notice of an adverse action (defined in ELM Section 651.71) should immediately contact a UPMA National Adverse Action Member Representative (see a list at Unitedpma.org). The Postmaster or Manager will sign a “Designation-of-Representation-form” and transmit it to the UPMA National Member Representative. The Member Representative will assist the Member in making a verbal reply to the charges, pursuant to ELM 651.74, and will begin coordination of the defense with the UPMA Legal Defense attorney. Generally, the UPMA legal defense attorney does not become actively involved until a decision letter is issued pursuant to ELM 651.75.
When the decision of the Postal Service in adverse action falls within the jurisdiction of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the Member Representative will immediately contact the UPMA Legal Defense Attorney. The sole decision on the scope, extent and means of defense then becomes the responsibility of the attorney, with the agreement of the charged Member. The UPMA Legal Defense Attorney will not represent a Member in an MSPB matter if the Member has been convicted of or has admitted to a criminal violation or has entered any plea other than not guilty to a directly related criminal charge. The Member Representative will remain available to provide technical assistance to the defense as requested by any attorney, privately retained by the Member.
In order to be represented by the UPMA Legal Defense Plan Attorney, the Member first must sign the “Designation-of-Representation and Subscription-to-Appeal-form” and transmit it to the UPMA Legal Defense Attorney.
Neither the UPMA Legal Defense Attorney nor the AALDP will defend a Member charged with a criminal violation in state or federal courts. These situations require a Member so charged to obtain the assistance of his or her own criminal defense attorney to defend against criminal charges.
To be eligible for the AALDF benefits, you must be a Member and have paid dues to UPMA (or NAPUS/League) for six months prior to the date the alleged conduct or performance deficiency occurred.
AALDF or AALDP benefits may be used to appeal adverse actions (defined in ELM 651.71) as follows:
Removal and suspension of more than 14 days, furloughs without pay, and reductions in grade or pay.
Except for Emergency Placement, a Member desiring representation of the Legal Defense Attorney must submit a cashier’s check (or wire transfer) within ten days of a Decision Letter to the UPMA National Office in the amount described in the AALDP. Failure to adhere to this stipulation will disqualify the Member from the Plan. UPMA expenses for attorney representation in the AALDP will be paid from the designated AALDF. In the event that the case is settled with the Post Office prior to an official decision, any amount remaining from the required deposit will be returned to the Member.
For any decision regarding either the AALDF or Legal Defense attorney representation that may fall outside the scope of these procedures and guidelines, or for further interpretation of these guidelines, a review will be conducted by the UPMA Board who will determine the appropriate UPMA action. 80% approval of the UPMA Board is required before AALDF’s may be used.
In the event that the AALD Attorney advises the UPMA Board that a case is not justifiable to pursue, the UPMA Board (with 80% approval) reserves the right to cease the use of AALDF’s
Hartley D. Alley
UPMA Legal Defense Attorney
23107 Fairway Brg.
San Antonio, TX 78258-7129
UPMA Oregon Branch