Today, Paul Hodes and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter are demanding an investigation into a new round of allegations that letter carriers at even more post offices have been shortchanged on their paychecks. In documents obtained by Hodes, post offices in Dover and Salem, New Hampshire are shown to have manipulated letter carriers' time sheets to remove overtime pay and earned wages.
"Cheating workers out of their pay is a very serious offense and threatens the livelihood of these hardworking New Hampshire families," said Hodes. "These troubling allegations must be investigated thoroughly, and any stolen pay should be immediately reimbursed to these workers."
"The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has already found time sheet tampering of letter carriers throughout the State and these actions cannot continue," said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. "After taking a close look at these new documents, I believe it is appropriate for the OIG to investigate these new incidents."
Never before seen evidence of manipulated timesheets has been sent to the chief investigator for fraud at the US Postal Service. Hodes and Shea-Porter have demanded an investigation into these documents and the alleged wage theft against New Hampshire workers.
Last year, investigations concluded that managers at five New Hampshire postal stations were found to be cheating workers out of rightfully earned wages. In total, previous investigations have uncovered 103 employees who were shortchanged, and the Hodes investigation has already led to $37,600 in wages being returned.
The full text of the investigation request is below:
Dear Inspector General Williams:
We have received reports of time adjustment tampering at two additional United States Post Offices in New Hampshire--Dover and Salem. We urge an Office of Inspector General investigation into the alleged theft of letter carriers' hours in these post offices.
These new reports of time tampering are troubling, since it has already been determined that New Hampshire letter carriers were cheated out of their wages in an investigation that the Office of Inspector General completed in October, 2009. Your office found improper and inappropriate time adjustments in four post offices in New Hampshire: Milford, Manchester South Station, Somersworth and Salem.
We enclosed for your consideration copies of adjusted time schedules in Dover and Salem that we received from the New Hampshire branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers. The documents include allegations of improper moving of codes, deleted times from carriers, and deleting "no lunch." In Salem, we urge an expansion of your previous investigation to examine the enclosed data that may include inappropriate reductions in carriers' overtime.
We encourage a swift review of and report on the allegations of wage theft. If the allegations prove true, we must stop the pattern of unethical and inappropriate underpayments of hard working letter carriers in New Hampshire's post offices.