A postal carrier and her husband got into an argument with a Florida woman. The carrier and her husband threatened the Florida woman. A USPS customer captured the altercation on video. The USPS terminated the postal carrier’s contract for unprofessional conduct. She appealed the termination, arguing the Florida woman had provoked her. The PSBCA found this wasn’t an excuse for her outrageous conduct. Moreover, she had breached by driving her husband in her car while delivering mail.
Angela Wilson v. United States Postal Service, PSBCA No. 6825
Angela Wilson had a contract with the USPS to deliver mail. On July 2, 2020, her husband accompanied her while she was delivering mail on her route. They got into an argument with the adult daughter of one of Wilson’s customers. A postal customer captured the argument on video. In the video, Wilson tells the woman, “You’re nasty; go back to Florida.” Wilson’s husband was even more colorful, stating that he “. . . needed a good fighting,” that he eschewed ,“crap from out-of-towners,” and that he was going to “knock [the daughter’s] head off.”
A postal customer involved in the incident reported the matter to the USPS. After reviewing the video, the contracting officer terminated Wilson’s contract for default. Wilson appealed to the Postal Service Board of Contract Appeals.
USPS terminated the contract, in part, because Wilson’s conduct violated the contract’s zero-tolerance-policy. That policy requires contractors to conduct themselves in a professional and business-like manner. Wilson argued her behavior was excusable because the Florida woman provoked her. The board rejected this argument. Regardless of the alleged provocation, Wilson’s actions were outrageous and unprofessional.
Wilson argued the zero-tolerance clause did not apply to behavior directed at non-residents who were not her postal customers. The board disagreed. Nothing in the zero-tolerance policy excluded behavior directed at non-residents.
Mr. Wilson’s Unauthorized Presence
USPS also terminated based on Mr. Wilson’s unauthorized presence in Wilson’s vehicle. The contract prohibited Wilson from transporting people who lacked a security clearance. Mr. Wilson was not cleared to ride in the car while she was delivering mail.
Wilson argued her husband had been riding her route with her for years. Also, Wilson claimed she had received permission for him to ride along in 2010. The board dismissed these arguments. They conflicted with the terms of the contract.
Angela Wilson represents herself. The government is represented by Michah Zome of the U.S. Postal Service.
–Case summary by Craig LaChance, Senior EditorPSBCA 6825 Opinion of the Board 12022022