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On the clock

Employees should follow rules while working

Under USPS rules, employees generally shouldn’t conduct personal activities while on duty.

The Postal Service wants to remind employees of the rules related to misuse of time, including what your obligations are while on duty.

Federal regulations require USPS employees to use their on-the-clock time in an honest effort to perform their official duties.

Generally, personal activities should not be conducted during duty hours.

Employees may use official time for personal tasks on a limited basis, provided that such use does not adversely affect their productivity, interfere with the Postal Service’s mission or operations, or violate ethics regulations.

For example, employees may call a doctor’s office while on duty to make an appointment, but they may not watch a movie for their entertainment or take a call for an outside business.

Employees must also be mindful of the misuse-of-time rules when directing a subordinate’s activities while on duty.

Federal regulations prohibit employees from encouraging, directing, coercing or requesting that their subordinates use their official time to perform activities other than their Postal Service duties.

Employees who have questions should call the ethics helpline at 202-268-6346 or send an email to