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Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Buffalo District Office
130 South Elmwood, Suite 510
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 842-2900 / FAX: (716) 842-2901

June 29, 2008

James Bertolone, President
Postal Workers, American, AFL-CIO
Local Union 215
1 70 John Street
Rochester, NY 14623

LM File Number: 072-056
Case Number: -

Dear Mr Bertolone:

This office has recently completed an audit of the Postal Workers, American, Local 215 under the Compliance Audit Program (CAP) to determine your organization's compliance with the provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). As discussed during the exit interview on July 17,2008 the following problems were disclosed during the CAP. The matters listed below are not an exhaustive list of all possible problem areas since the audit conducted was limited in scope.

Recordkeeping Violation

Title II of the LMRDA establishes certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Section 206 requires, among other things, that labor organizations maintain adequate records for at least five years by which each receipt and disbursement of funds, as well as all account balances, can be verified, explained, and clarified. As a general rule, labor organizations must maintain all records used or received in the course of union business.

For disbursements, this includes not only original bills, invoices, receipts, vouchers, and applicable resolutions, but also documentation showing the nature of the union business requiring the disbursement, the goods or services received, and the identity of the recipient(s) of the goods or services. In most instances, this documentation requirement can be satisfied with a sufficiently descriptive expense receipt or invoice. If an expense receipt is not sufficiently descriptive, a union officer or employee should write a note on it providing the additional information. For money it receives, the labor organization must keep at least one record showing the date, amount, purpose, and source of that money. The labor organization must also retain bank records for all accounts.

The audit of Local 215's 2007 records revealed the following recordkeeping violation:

Meal Expenses

Local 215 did not require officers and employees to submit itemized receipts for meal expenses totaling at least $817. The union must maintain itemized receipts provided by restaurants to officers and employees. These itemized receipts are necessary to determine if such disbursements are for union business purposes and to sufficiently fulfill the recordkeeping requirement of LMRDA Section 206.

Local 215 records of meal expenses did not always include written explanations of union business conducted or the names and titles of the persons incurring the restaurant charges. For example, numerous union credit card charges for meals failed to adequately explain the reason for the expense. Union records of meal expenses must include written explanations of the union business conducted and the full names and titles of all persons who incurred the restaurant charges. Also, the records retained must identify the names of the restaurants where the officers or employees incurred meal expenses.

Based on your assurance that Local 215 will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above violations.

Other Violation

The audit disclosed the following other violation:

Inadequate Bonding

The audit revealed a violation of LMRDA Section 502 (Bonding), which requires that union officers and employees be bonded for no less than 10 percent of the total funds those individuals or their predecessors handled during the preceding fiscal year. Local 215's officers and employees are currently bonded for $45,000, but they must be bonded
for at least $64,213. Local 215 should obtain adequate bonding coverage for its officers and employees immediately. Please provide proof of bonding coverage to this office as soon as possible, but not later than August 29, 2008.

I want to extend my personal appreciation to Local 215, for their cooperation and courtesy extended during this compliance audit. I strongly recommend that you make sure this letter and the compliance assistance materials provided to you are passed on to future officers. If we can be of any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to call.
Sincerely,
Investigator
cc: Linda Recino, Secretary Treasurer
Mary Kay Horst, Vice President