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On your own

Know the rules about outside activities

Federal ethics regulations don’t prohibit USPS workers from engaging in any outside activity as long as doing so doesn’t cause a conflict with their official duties.

If you’re a Postal Service employee, the organization wants you to remember the rules on engaging in activities outside USPS.

These activities can include working for other employers while still holding a postal job, serving on an outside board or volunteering for a group.

Federal ethics regulations don’t prohibit you from engaging in any outside activity as long as doing so doesn’t cause a conflict with your official duties.

A conflict occurs when the outside activity creates an actual financial conflict of interest or the appearance that you aren’t impartially doing your postal work.

There’s also a conflict when engaging in the outside activity prevents you from adequately performing your USPS job, including maintaining regular and on-time attendance.

Here are some things to remember:

• You may not work for a postal competitor, such as Amazon, FedEx, UPS and DHL. Other organizations are also prohibited, so contact the USPS Ethics Office for a full listing.

• You must obtain approval from the Ethics Office prior to engaging in certain activities.

For example, the Ethics Office must give prior approval before you engage in any outside employment or business activities with organizations or individuals with whom you have official dealings on behalf of the Postal Service.

• An outside entity may not pay you for teaching, speaking or writing that is related to your official USPS duties.

•  You may engage in fundraising in your personal capacity — as long as you do so while on your own time and while off postal property, with no reference to your postal job.

Also: You cannot solicit funds from your subordinates or people with whom you have official dealings on behalf of USPS at any time. You also may not raise funds for partisan political candidates, parties or groups at any time.

•  With limited exceptions, you may not represent an outside organization or person before a federal court or a federal executive branch department or agency, whether or not you are paid for the representation.

•  You may not accept compensation from any foreign government.

The Ethics Blue page has more information. If you have questions, call the ethics hotline at 202-268-6346 or send an email to

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