USPS issues “guidance” on ice bucket challenge

The Postal Service’s ethics office is hearing from a lot of employees who have questions about the ALS ice bucket challenge.

The challenge involves people dumping a bucket of ice water on themselves to raise awareness of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and then encouraging others to do the same or make a donation to the ALS Association.

Videos of people taking the challenge have gone viral on social media in recent weeks.

Here’s some general guidance:

  • Employees are welcome to participate in the challenge on their own time and at locations other than Postal Service property.
  • Colleagues who are friends outside the workplace are welcome to participate and nominate each other for the challenge, as long as they do it on their own time and use their own equipment.
  • Employees shouldn’t use government equipment to participate in the challenge, and they shouldn’t do it on government property. Also, employees shouldn’t issue the challenge to subordinates, and they should carefully consider whether it would be appropriate to challenge supervisors or other bosses.

If you have questions regarding participation in the ice bucket challenge or any other ethics issue, please send an email to  or call the ethics hotline at 202-268-6346.

  • Just judy

    Sounds very encouraging. NOT

  • Surprise!

    Why can Government resources be used for the food drive but not this? Does the Postal Service consider this less worthy?

  • Typical mgt nonsense

    As always they are only interested in micro managing any covering their own incompetent behinds!

  • Deadwood mgt

    The letter carriers do all the work ( food drive ) but the Postal Service takes the credit. They will pivot you for five minutes on the food drive day though

  • I give up

    Every flea market and yard sale in America can use stolen white flat tubs for salable goods but don’t use one for ice water

  • Todd Gack

    Would you clowns please get a clue? An organization the size of USPS can’t allow hundreds (if not thousands) of employees to start dumping ice water on the clock — much less, on gov’t property. Did any of you jack wagons read about the fire fighters who were severely injured when they attempted to spray cold water on a group of college students, as part of the Ice Water Challenge? Their ladder got too close to a power line. Can most of you stop and think every so often before posting? Unreal.

  • Lou Gehrig

    You make an excellent case for not aiming a firehose at people when your ladder is too close to a power line, but I’m not sure what that has to do with the story.

  • Todd Gack

    Because with more than 500,000 employees working from more than 32,000 Post Offices and plants, what could possibly go wrong, right? It’s called “liability,” genius.

    Like I said — unreal.

  • Lou Gehrig

    Oh, “liability”! Well I can understand your concern now! There must have been a rash of incidents where postal workers borrowed fire trucks and parked them under power lines in your area? Geez! Where did all this happen? Boy oh boy- doesn’t take a genius to see how THAT could turn into a LIABILITY!

    I bet this’ll be all over the news tonight! Thanks for the heads up!

    Unreal! (Literally!)

  • whatever!

    How about i post a video of me filling out my “voice of the employee” survey since im given time on the clock to do that and it directly affects managements bonuses. Then can i tear it up and flush it down the shitter like you people want to do to our business?

  • Todd Gack

    Clearly, you’re an idiot. But thanks for proving my point!

  • Surprise!

    OK, if any one gets hurt doing the ALS ice bucket challenge it would be professionally unethical. Any one who does not understand why safety is an ethics issue is an idiot.

    …Upper management wonders why the craft has not respect for them.

  • Surprise!

    I am in a different craft so I don’t know the details of the city carrier side of the food drive.

    I thought the City Carriers where paid to do the food drive.

  • Connie

    Legally there are only two charity drives allowed: CFC and the NALC Food Drive. That’s it.

  • Lou Gehrig

    Todd, you’re very welcome! But clearly, we all know that it just looks that way to you- to someone as brilliant as yourself, I’m sure everyone looks like an idiot! LOL!

    But seriously, I’m sure I speak for everyone here when I thank you for spreading the word about the danger of parking our fire trucks too close to power lines when we’re using them to spray cold water on college students! We may never know just how many lives you saved with that one piece of advice!

    Truly, you, my friend, have proven your own point!

    God bless!

  • Mike Okey

    Oh, wise one, please make sure that postal management quickly gives a mandatory video presentation on the clock to show us the dangers of parking a fire truck and ladder too close to power lines. There are far too many postal workers, in your esteemed opinion, that would foolishly do so, if not warned by higher forms of life like yourself.

  • Randy J Kowal

    Todd was just making a point that any accident can happen. What if this challenge was done on postal property or on postal time, and someone stepped on an ice cube and slipped and got seriously injured? That’s the liability he’s talking about. You just want to stir the pot and averyone should ignore your comments as such.

  • Lou Gehrig

    Very good point! That’s why I don’t allow ice cubes in my house! Just asking for trouble, as you so rightly point out. I’m pretty sure we have ice cubes in the break room refrigerator at my post office though- SMH!! I’m going to fill in a 1767 first thing Monday! I should probably call the OIG hotline too, just to cover myself!

    Thanks for the valuable tip! Everyone should pay attention to your advice as such!

  • BobW

    Here’s a challenge: every PM stick their head in a bucket of ice water for 15 minutes. If they survive, they get to be a VP in L’Enfant Plaza.

  • vitameatavegamin

    Modified version: 55 gallon drum of ice water, lower head first, hold for loong time…….

  • Letter Carrier

    But what about the children?!

  • Hector

    Ice? Maybe we had better stop delivering mail on any day when ice or even water is present…it might create a liability issue.