A federal judge reaffirmed on Tuesday that the Postal Service must authorize overtime in the run up to the election, defying an effort by the mailing agency to resist that mandate. 

The overtime dispute was the lone outstanding issue that the Postal Service and an array of plaintiffs that have successfully sued it had yet to resolve. USPS has now lost in five preliminary decisions against reform efforts instituted by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, leading to the agency agreeing to walk back all of those changes through the election. The federal judges in those cases issued nationwide injunctions after finding DeJoy’s efforts led to mail delays that risked disenfranchising voters preparing to vote by mail during the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

“USPS shall authorize, and instruct, overtime to be used for the time period beginning Oct. 26, 2020 and continuing through Nov. 6, 2020 to ensure the timely delivery of election mail,” U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York Victor Marrero wrote in his order in the case Jones v. USPS

He had previously required the Postal Service to pre-approve all overtime requests for those dates, but modified the language slightly after postal management and the Trump administration sought a change. Still, lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case called the result a “huge win” as it does not allow USPS to deny overtime it deems unnecessary. The language was “clarified in the best way possible,” said Ali Najmi, one of the attorneys. “Overtime for USPS employees during election time is secure.” Read More