The Resource Management Database Office

  VP/BA Bill Jones by Bill Jones, Vice President, BA, June 2003

By now most of us have had at least one experience with the RMD office. Whether it was good or bad is just another story. Just remember, do not be intimidated when you are reporting off from work.

Here are a few tips to follow when reporting off:

  1. Make sure you write down the name of the supervisor who you are reporting off to. This is very important, as there are numerous supervisors who work in the RMD office.

  2. State your name, social security number, and type of leave you are requesting.

  3. If you are requesting sick leave, you will most likely be asked the following questions:
    • Is this absence for an FMLA-covered condition?
      If you are unsure, say you are unsure at this time.
    • Is this absence due to a job-related injury?
      If you are unsure, say you are unsure at this time.
    • What is the nature of your illness?
      Management is not entitled to a diagnosis or prognosis of your illness!
      Examples of some answers you might give are
      "I am too ill or too weak to work." or
      "I have sustained an injury which prevents me from working."

  4. Management is now requiring employees to state an anticipated duration or report off daily. Remember the key word is "anticipated." For example, if you fell that your illness is such that you may need three days off, state "three days." If your recovery takes less time than anticipated, just report to work. Be sure to amend the Form 3971 to reflect the correct return date and number of hours used.

  5. If the supervisor tells you that you are required to document this absence, be sure to ask "Are you asking for medical documentation?"

    This is very important! There have been times when a grievance has been filed and management has later taken the position that the supervisor never specified "medical" documentation.

  6. If you are being required to document an absence of three days or less, you should ask the reason why. Do not accept "to protect the interest of the postal service." Ask them to be more specific as to why there is a need to protect the interest of the postal service.

    Note: the number of days means work days and does not include lay-off days!

  7. At this point, you have provided all the information management is entitled to and should end the call. If the supervisor is still attempting to ask more questions, tell him or her that you have provided the required information and that you feel your rights and privacy are being violated. If the supervisor persists, you should state that when you are feeling better and return to work, you will be willing to meet with a union representative present, if there is still a need for this information.

If you do not have a sufficient sick leave balance to cover your absence, it is your option whether it will be charged to annual leave or LWOP.

For additional information, please visit the Postal Attendance Control page at Lu's News and Views. It contains good generalized facts on TACS, on the RMD, and a few articles by other APWU local elected officials and how it has impacted their members.