General Government & Civil Service and Postal Service
The Postal Rate Commission has broad discretion in setting rates for different classes of mail. It is not required by law to maximize its use of the 'cost-of-service' principle, under which each class of mail pays the share of costs for the overall postal system directly attributable to it.
General Government & Civil Service, Postal Service, Law & Justice, Business & Tax Law, and Contracts & Arbitration
The court dismissed the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted in a case posing the question of whether an arbitrator's decision ordering reinstatement of an employee convicted of willfully failing to deliver the mail can be set aside as contrary to public policy.
General Government & Civil Service, State & Local Government & Intergovernmental Relations, State & Local Taxes, Law & Justice, Business & Tax Law, and Tax Law
Upon request, the U.S. Postal Service or other employer must garnish, or withhold from, a worker's wages to help a state collect overdue state income tax payments. No court order is needed for such action.
General Government & Civil Service, State & Local Government & Intergovernmental Relations, General, Law & Justice, and Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties, & Individual Rights
Congress did not violate the guarantees of the First Amendment when it passed a law forbidding persons or groups to place unstamped letters, notices and other 'mailable matter' in post boxes used by the U.S. Postal Service for delivering mail to private homes.
Advocacy & Public Service, Civil Rights, General, Employment, Labor, & Pensions, and Equal Employment Opportunity & Discrimination
A plaintiff in a job discrimination suit under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act is not required to produce direct proof of deliberate discrimination; indirect or circumstantial evidence is sufficient to move his case into the next stage, in which the employer must justify his decision to hire or promote someone else rather than the plaintiff.
Employment, Labor, & Pensions and Labor Standards & Practices
Labor unions that fail to provide fair representation to their members in cases of wrongful dismissal may be held jointly liable with the employer for wages the employee lost as a result of their misconduct or failure to act.
General Government & Civil Service, Postal Service, Law & Justice, Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties, & Individual Rights, and Freedom of Speech & Press
A U.S. Postal Service regulation that prohibits solicitation of contributions on postal premises does not violate the First Amendment when it is used to bar solicitations by a political group. This case arose after volunteers for the National Democratic Policy Committee set up a table on a post office sidewalk. A federal appeals court said the sidewalk was a traditional public forum. But O'Connor, writing for the Court in an opinion reversing the appeals court, said government ownership of property 'does not automatically open that property to the public.' She said the sidewalk in question was built solely to assist postal patrons.
Employment, Labor, & Pensions, Labor-Management Relations, General Government & Civil Service, and Postal Service
Postal employees may not challenge the U.S. Postal Service's use of private courier services known as 'international remailing.' The Court said the workers are not within the 'zone of interests' of the Private Express Statutes, regulating mail delivery, so they do not have standing to challenge the postal service's use of private couriers to handle certain international delivery.
General Government & Civil Service, Postal Service, Law & Justice, Criminal Law, and General
The federal law that makes a crime to assault or rob any custodian of 'mail matter, or of any money or other property' of the United States applies to federal agents such as Secret Service agents, as well as to Postal Service employees.
General Government & Civil Service, Postal Service, Law & Justice, Business & Tax Law, and General
Prejudgment interest may be awarded in a suit against the Postal Service brought under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. When Congress put the Service into the commercialworld, and included a sue-and-be-sued clause in the Postal Reorganization Act, Congress gave it the status of a private commercial enterprise, and the Service's liability is the same as that of any other business.
Education, Postsecondary Education, General, General Government & Civil Service, and Postal Service
The University of California properly refused to carry letters in its internal mail system from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to university employees. To do so would violate the Private Express Statutes, which establish the postal monopoly and generally prohibit the private carriage of letters over postal routes without paying the U.S. Postal Service. The union's letter did not fall within the exceptions to the statute.
Business, Banking, Commerce, & Economics, Sales & Services, General Government & Civil Service, Postal Service, Law & Justice, Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties, & Individual Rights, and Freedom of Speech & Press
Neither freedom of the press nor freedom of speech is violated by the 1967 law authorizing individuals to request the Postmaster General to order a company to cease sending that individual obscene material. The right of privacy was paramount in this case, held the court: 'The hold less would tend to license a form of trespass and would make hardly more sense than to say that a radio or television viewer may not twist the dial to cut off an offensive or boring communication.' (1967 Almanac p. 593)
Maze was convicted of unlawfully obtaining possession a credit card and using it to purchase goods and services in various states. The controlling statute made it a crime for a person who has devised a scheme to defraud or for obtaining money or property by means of false pretenses for the purpose of executing the scheme knowingly to cause to be delivered by mail according to the direction thereon any thing delivered by the United States Postal Service. The court of appeals reversed the conviction on the ground that the law was inapplicable to respondent's conduct. The Supreme Court affirmed.