The Postal Service has been overpaying some claimants under the Federal Employees Compensation Act, says an inspector general report on an audit of the “continuation of pay” period immediately during which the employee is absent from work and the Labor Department is adjudicating a claim.
The audit examined 155 transactions in which workers’ compensation claimants charged 80 or more continuation of pay hours to their timecards while they received workers’ compensation payments during calendar years 2018 and 2019.
It found that Postal Service duplicated payments in 97 of those transactions by paying continuation of pay benefits directly to the injured employees and also reimbursing Labor for workers’ compensation payments for the same workhours. Additionally, in 71 of those cases, the USPS provided continuation of pay benefits beyond the 45-day limit.
Separately, in a sample of 207 transactions in which injured employees were paid by the Postal Service for normal workhours and also received workers’ compensation benefits for the same payroll period auditors found errors in five cases, including two in which supervisors did not timely inform HR that an employee had returned to full-time work or was working hours in excess of those determined by the OWCP based on the disability.
It said management generally agreed with its recommendations, including to better instruct managers and supervisors of their responsibilities.