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Avoiding misuse

Employees can’t serve private interests

Employees may not use their USPS position for the benefit of others they are affiliated with in a nongovernmental capacity.

The Postal Service is reminding employees that they aren’t permitted to misuse their position for the benefit of themselves, relatives or friends.

Doing so erodes the Postal Service’s reputation for trustworthiness and integrity and damages the USPS brand.

Employees may not use their postal position for the benefit of others they are affiliated with in a nongovernmental capacity.

This includes nonprofit organizations in which an employee is an officer or member, as well as people an employee has or is seeking employment or business relations with.

The ethics rules allow an employee to sign a letter of recommendation using his or her postal title, but only based upon personal knowledge of the ability or character of the person he or she has worked with at the Postal Service or the person he or she is recommending for federal government employment.

Using your postal position or title to endorse any product, service or enterprise could lead to the appearance that the Postal Service supports or sanctions the product, service or enterprise.

Only the Postmaster General or the full executive leadership team can approve such endorsements.

Employees may endorse a product, service or enterprise in their personal capacity, such as leaving a positive review for a local restaurant or a product purchased online.

Employees may not use nonpublic information gained by reason of their postal employment to further their own private interests or the private interests of others.

For example, it would be a violation of the ethics rules to use information of a pending contract between the Postal Service and another company to purchase stock in that company or encourage family or friends to make such as purchase prior to the public announcement of the contract award.

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