‘Your Best’ connection

Postal Service employees are praising this year’s career conferences, which began in March with a format that ensures that all attendees — whatever their location — experience the same event.

More than 1,000 employees have attended the Delivering Your Best conferences, which are designed to equip employees with the tools they need to advance their careers.

Informational sessions — including how to improve job searching skills, apply for internal jobs and excel at the interview to land a position — and networking opportunities are highlighted.

“I met a lot of people who I’ve seen their names but not met them in person,” said Clarissa Davis, a rural carrier in Mechanicsville, VA, who attended a recent conference in Richmond, VA.

“The networking aspect of the conference was great,” she said.

Mechanicsville Postmaster Shalisa Smith agreed, saying it helped in “putting names to faces” and “talking to people one on one.”

Smith, who also attended the Richmond conference, found it “very informative for the newer people getting into management.”

Career conferences are part of the Postal Service’s efforts to develop its workforce, a major component of the Delivering for America plan.

According to USPS polling, 93 percent of attendees would strongly recommend attending a career conference to a co-worker.

More than 40 career conferences are planned during the remainder of this year in 27 states and Puerto Rico.

Employees who wish to find the location and date that works best for them can register online at rsvpBOOK.

Hatch Act allowances

The Postal Service is reminding employees that they can participate in politics — but only while they are off duty and not wearing a uniform.

The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity while on duty, while wearing a federal uniform or identification badge, while on federal property or while inside a federal vehicle.

The act’s goals are to ensure federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect federal employees from political coercion in the workplace, and to ensure that federal employees are promoted based on merit, not political affiliation.

While many forms of political expression are prohibited by the act, much is permissible. This includes:

• Registering to vote and voting in an election;

• Participating in voter registration efforts;

• Volunteering to assist with a political campaign, including signing nominating petitions, distributing campaign literature, endorsing or supporting a candidate, wearing campaign apparel and canvassing for votes;

• Making a campaign speech at a political rally, caucus, convention or meeting;

• Donating money to a political candidate or group, as long as it is not done on postal equipment;

• Campaigning for or against referendum questions, constitutional amendments, changes in municipal ordinances or pending legislation;

• Working at the polls on election day;

• Holding office within a political party, such as a delegate to a party convention; and

• Running in an election in which no candidate belongs to a political party.

If an employee plans to vote while in uniform — during lunch, for example — prior permission is required from his or her postmaster.

If you have questions about the Hatch Act or engaging in any political activity as a government employee, contact the Ethics Office by calling 202-268-6346 or emailing Ethics.Help@usps.gov.

Green plate club

Postal Service employees can participate in an upcoming webinar about the benefits of adding plant-based foods to daily diets for improving long-term health.

The session, “Trends in Plant-Based Eating,” will be held Tuesday, May 23, at noon Eastern.

The webinar, conducted by GEHA representative Mickey Basi, will explore the definition of a plant-based diet. Attendees will learn simple swaps and tips for eating foods beneficial for themselves and the environment.

Participants must register before the event on the webinar website.

Participation is voluntary. Nonexempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

For more information, email the USPS Health and Wellness team or visit the USPS Wellness LiteBlue page.