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Understanding ethics rules for community events

The Postal Service is educating employees about the rules for using USPS property and other resources for community events.

USPS wants you to understand the ethics rules surrounding the use of employee time, postal materials and postal property for three basic categories of community events:

• Postal Service events. These initiatives, such as Operation Santa and Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities, are limited by some internal regulations, but it’s generally OK to use postal materials and property to support them.

• Federal government events. These events include Combined Federal Campaign fundraisers, blood pressure screenings and other activities that are open only to federal employees. You can’t use Post Office lobbies or other public spaces for these events, but you can host them in employee-only spaces.

• Outside events. These events fall into two categories: activities approved under the Community Service Activity Policy (CSAP), such as a local charity drive to collect books for schools, and initiatives authorized elsewhere, such as the Stamp Out Hunger food drive organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

You should refer to the CSAP or to the initiative’s guidelines before participating in these events.

The Postal Service also wants you to know the rules for events organized by affinity groups and management organizations that are postal-related.

Although many employees are members of these groups, the groups are outside organizations.

Employees must use their own off-duty time and materials for these activities. USPS can allow employees to use postal space, but only space that is made equally available to other outside organizations.

Throughout 2019, the Postal Service is educating employees about the federal government’s principles and standards of ethical conduct.

In addition to postal property matters, the campaign has covered seeking employment outside the organization and seeking employment after leaving USPS, avoiding financial conflicts of interest involving close relatives and avoiding general financial conflicts of interest, community service activities, misuse of position, and the general standards of ethical conduct.

Employees who have questions about these matters should email the USPS Ethics Office at or contact an area law office.

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