Federal forms

Postal Service employees can now go to PostalEASE to view their federal Form W-2 for calendar year 2020.

The organization will also mail each employee their Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, along with their federal Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage.

If you need extra copies, you have two options:

• Go to PostalEASE, which you can access from Blue, LiteBlue and self-service kiosks at many Postal Service facilities. You’ll need your employee identification number and password to log in. Once you have access, follow the prompts to obtain duplicate W-2 or 1095-C forms.

• Call the USPS employee self-service line at 877-477-3273 and request the duplicate forms.

These options are available only to current employees. Separated employees must submit their requests in writing to the following address: Financial Reporting Section — Finance Branch, Accounting Services, 2825 Lone Oak Pkwy, Eagan MN 55121-9617.

For more information, a Year End Tax Documents poster is available on Blue.

Special needs

The Postal Service is reminding employees and contractors that they are expected to treat all customers with respect and to always offer helpful service.

This expectation includes providing prompt and courteous service to customers who may have hearing, visual, physical or mental impairments or language barriers.

Although USPS remains a lifeline for millions of people during the coronavirus pandemic, those who are deaf or hard of hearing might find it even more challenging to communicate with others while wearing face coverings.

However, hearing-impaired customers may use assistive technology to overcome communication barriers with postal employees.

For example, special software is available on cellphones that transcribes speech or text. This allows deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals to read the questions being asked of them.

It’s important for employees who deal with the public to remain flexible and allow customers to use tools such as these to complete their transactions. Using these tools also aligns with the organization’s policies on maintaining social distancing in USPS lobbies, which protects employees and customers alike.

The Postal Service recently distributed a stand-up talk that contains this information, along with these tips for employees:

• If you aren’t being understood, try using another word, hand gestures or writing it down.

• If a person who is hearing-impaired uses sign language and has an interpreter with him or her, continue to speak directly to the hearing-impaired individual. The interpreter serves as a tool to facilitate communication.

• Don’t pretend that you understand the person when you don’t. Mistakes can be costly.

• Treat adults with disabilities as adults. Don’t patronize them.

• Listen to any instructions the person may want to give you.

Employees who deal with the public should also accept persons with disabilities as individuals, entitled to the same respect and treatment they would want for themselves. It is against the law to discriminate on the basis of a disability.

Price changes

The Postal Service has released a video that lists the price changes that took effect Jan. 24.

The changes will raise overall Priority Mail service prices approximately 3.5 percent and overall Priority Mail Express service prices 1.2 percent, while Mailing Services product prices will rise approximately 1.7 percent.

The video, which USPS released last week, lasts about 90 seconds.

A 2021 price change kit and other information is available on the Retail and Post Office Operations Blue page.

Stay healthy

The Postal Service wants employees to take precautions to avoid frostbite, hypothermia and other winter health hazards.

Here’s what you should know:

• Frostbite occurs when skin is exposed to extreme cold for long periods and freezes, along with the underlying tissue. The fingers, toes and feet are most commonly affected, but other extremities such as the nose, ears and cheeks can also develop frostbite.

• At the first sign of frostbite, get out of the cold. Unless absolutely necessary, don’t walk on frostbitten feet or toes. Don’t rub the frostbitten area because it will cause more damage.

• Warm the affected area using body heat or by immersing in warm water; avoid using a heating pad, heat lamp or the heat of a stove, fireplace or radiator for warming because direct heat can burn damaged tissue.

• Drink warm beverages to replace lost fluids. In case of severe frostbite, seek medical attention.

• Hypothermia, which occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can be produced, can be deadly if you don’t catch it in time. Signs include memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness.

• If you experience symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia, call 911 immediately and notify your supervisor.

The Safety Blue page has more information, including Safety Depends on Me videos on working in winter weather.