Unscheduled leave–employee absence from work that is not requested or approved in advance–not only increases costs by requiring management to increase workhours and overtime hours but also can “affect productivity, efficiency and employee morale,” a report by the Postal Service IG has said.

An audit of the New York District, which it identified at the district where the most such leave occurs in the USPS, said the district “did not adequately manage excessive unscheduled leave, which could be potentially mitigated to acceptable levels by appropriately completing required forms, enforcing disciplinary actions, and providing sufficient supervisory training.”

“We determined employees with a combined 132 or more occurrences of unscheduled leave during FYs 2015 and 2016 to be excessive. In FY 2016, 578 of the district’s 8,417 employees (or 7 percent) had a combined 132 or more occurrences of unscheduled leave, which was 44 percent of total unscheduled leave hours,” the report said.

Management agreed with recommendations to reinforce training of supervisors in using the time and attendance recording system and enhance higher-level reviews, among other steps.