Response from USPS law/ethics department regarding the USPS social media policy

My Question:  Does the new revised social media policy restrict craft employees from engaging with each other on social media sites..  My understanding is that the new policies are that postal employees are not to speak on behalf of the USPS or act like they are in an official capacity..   Can you possibly shed more light on this?

Answer from USPS law/ethics dept:  You are correct – the attached Social Media Policy mainly addresses the conduct of Postal Service employees who use social media in their official capacity to communicate with the public or Postal Service employees.  However, it also notes that Postal Service employees who choose to use social media in their personal capacity must not speak for or act on behalf of the Postal Service.

Concerning your question about communications with craft employees on social media sites, the policy states, “whether Postal Service employees chose to participate in social media on their own time is their decision.”  However, the misuse provision of the Standards of Ethical Conduct still apply.  Pursuant to the misuse provisions, employees may not use government property or time in an unauthorized manner.  5 C.F.R. Section 2635.704 and 705.  You can use government equipment and be on official time to access social media sites if you are doing so for official duties, assuming such duties attach to your position.  Otherwise, using social media sites for non-government purposes should be limited to off duty hours, using non-government equipment.

5 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

My district policy is NO cell phones/bluetooth on the workroom floor. This does NOT apply to EAS/management… Use by certain craft employees is also routinely ignored.

Well My postmaster is on her smart phone all time talking to city carriers making comments on Facebook! She gets on rural carriers for wasting time and not using time wisely even though we are on an evaluated system but she lets an employee who she is friends with post things while delivering mail is ok and nothing is said!!! Its crap!!

There is a notice on our Rural Carrier Board that states that cell phones are not allowed on the work room floor. It has never been inforced! One girl regularly get text messages and send them. One clerk is constantly on her phone to someone in her family! It is truly ridiculous! No peace in our office.

I agree! Common sense should come into play here. Personal stuff should be done at home, work stuff at work. I suppose an exception could be made if it were a break & brief but better to keep to two separate. No double standard either! Managers should follow their own rules & set a good example

So using Postal time playing on your smart phone, texting, talking, watching u-tube, playing music isn't a good use of your Postal work time???? Our Supervisor is on their cell phone much more than doing Postal Work. Very poor example, I think cells phone should not be allowed on the workroom floor. Also, the office computer shouldn't be used to look up jewelry, clothes and other retail sites.