Peak planning

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s latest video message for Postal Service employees previews the holiday peak delivery season.

He discusses the growth in the organization’s package business during the coronavirus pandemic and explains that volumes are expected to further increase during the holidays.

To ensure USPS effectively serves package customers, the organization is expanding air and surface transportation options and hiring seasonal workers, among other measures.

“The nation depends upon the Postal Service to deliver its holiday packages. Our planning process has been strong. We are well prepared and we should all have a lot of confidence in our ability to serve our customers this holiday season,” DeJoy says.

The video, released Nov. 9, is available on Link and other postal websites and will be shown to employees throughout the organization this week.

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.

Open season webinars

The Postal Service will offer a special webinar for employees who want to learn more about their options during this year’s open season benefits enrollment period.

The session, “Making the Most of Open Season,” will be offered several times throughout open season, which runs from Nov. 9-Dec. 14. Each session will take place through the Zoom videoconferencing platform; participants can also use their phone to dial into the meetings (a meeting ID and password is required for each session).

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many USPS facilities will not offer in-person open season fairs, so the organization is encouraging employees to participate in the webinars.

Here’s the lineup:

• Tuesday, Nov. 10, 1 p.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1607549972; password: 286159)

• Tuesday, Nov. 10, 6 p.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1614390185; password: 135755)

• Saturday, Nov. 14, 11 a.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1600423462; password: 413862)

• Monday, Nov. 16, 8 p.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1615613275; password: 360728)

• Wednesday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1605118324; password: 627758)

• Thursday, Nov. 19, 3 p.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1618351311; password: 441555)

• Tuesday, Nov. 24, 6 p.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1616047801; password: 224749)

• Tuesday, Dec. 1, 11 a.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1615507401; password: 715827)

• Tuesday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1608447881; password: 482714)

• Saturday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1619821813; password: 835976)

• Thursday, Dec. 10, 8 p.m. EST. Participants can log in via Zoom or call 503-336-1236 or 952-229-5070 (meeting ID: 1601994349; password: 216963)

In addition to the webinars, USPS employees can participate in the Virtual Benefits Fair, an online event that will run throughout open season. Participants should register on the fair website.

The Open Season LiteBlue page has additional tools to help you prepare, including FAQs, informational videos and a link to a health plan comparison tool from Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees.

For more information, email the USPS Health and Wellness team.

Background check

The Postal Service wants employees to remember to keep it professional when it comes to profile photos on HERO, Outlook, Zoom and other platforms used by USPS.

Under the organization’s photo policy, employees should post only recent images of themselves wearing appropriate attire, such as business-casual clothing or a USPS-sanctioned uniform.

Profile photos should also avoid distracting backgrounds, and the focus and lighting should be of sufficient quality for each platform.

These guidelines also apply to Zoom’s virtual backgrounds, which give each meeting participant an option to display any image as a background during a videoconferencing session.

To ensure the feature is used properly, the Postal Service offers the following guidance:

• Be sure the background image sets the appropriate tone for the meeting.

• Never use backgrounds considered unprofessional, distracting or otherwise inappropriate.

• Avoid moving or flashing backgrounds that could distract from the meeting’s focus.

• Don’t use backgrounds that violate the Hatch Act, such as an image that promotes a political candidate.

Employees who have questions should speak to a manger or supervisor.

CFC season

With the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) underway, the Postal Service wants employees to understand the rules about fundraising in the workplace.

The CFC allows federal employees, retirees and contractors to contribute to more than 7,000 charitable organizations.

The campaign consolidates solicitations of postal employees into a single, officially supported effort. Contractors cannot be solicited, but they may give a one-time donation by check.

Here are some more rules about the CFC:

• Giving to the CFC must be truly voluntary. Postal employees can give or not give as they choose and are guaranteed confidentiality of their donation decisions.

• Permission from the USPS Ethics Office is required for all CFC events. Submit requests to ethics.help@usps.gov with “CFC Special Event Request” in the subject line at least two weeks in advance. Attach a completed CFC special event request form and any flyers or other materials you plan to use to promote the event.

• CFC events can only be to raise awareness of the campaign. No fundraising or soliciting is permitted at CFC events. Everyone must be welcome to attend.

• Gambling is prohibited. The CFC may include raffles if there is no cost to enter, all postal employees can participate and the prizes are modest.

• Postal funds can be used to support CFC events. However, postal funding must be available and approved. Outside sources and businesses may not contribute in support of CFC events, nor can they be solicited to do so.

• All charities must be treated equally during the CFC. While the CFC can be endorsed enthusiastically, individual charities may not. Employees must avoid giving preferential treatment to any particular organization.

Employees with questions about fundraising should email the Ethics Office for guidance.

Relocation reminder

The Postal Service wants employees to remember that relocation expense reimbursement requests submitted after Nov. 20 will be processed for payment on Jan. 2, 2021.

USPS established this deadline to ensure the organization has adequate time to record and report all relocation expenses for 2020 tax purposes.

All relocation expense reimbursement requests submitted after the deadline will be processed for payment on Jan. 2.

Employees should refer their questions to their relocation counselor or send an email to the USPS relocation team.

The Relocation Blue page also has information.