A frightened employee in the Basalt, Colorado Post Office managed to video the last minute of a vicious assault she endured by a co-worker while at work early in the morning on January 26, 2023.
The victim said,
“I came in for distribution at 6 AM, … Took four days off to focus on my family as I am a single mom. This is the gratitude I got when I returned to work. I caught the tail end of his attack on me, because I felt like I had no choice and no other option than to document this abuse. Because I knew that he would be back to work without a problem. This is a hostile work environment. He clearly was told it was OK to treat me like this. His opening statement was ‘Hey Hala, I think Nicole [Officer in Charge] wants to see you in her office’.… In my opinion, management is equally responsible for this attack. I had to go to the police, sorry this is out of my hands now.”
The victim is Postal worker Hala Khalil. She identified her attacker as mail carrier James Biddix, who works in the same office.
The day of the attack, Biddix was sent home with sick pay because he may have had Covid, while Hala was sent home and not paid.
Bureaucracy, tolerance of such attacks leaves Postal workers feeling unprotected
The victim reported the assault to the Basalt Police, but local police can only do so much since the Post Office is federal property, which makes jurisdiction over assaults like this questionable. The duty to investigate assaults on postal workers that happen in the course of performing their jobs falls to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, but Post Office bureaucracy makes it difficult for employee-victims of such assaults on Postal property to get any kind of justice. It also makes it difficult to get protection from such assaults while on the job, even when supervisors are aware of ongoing problems with hostile or aggressive employees, according to workers.
Postal workers feel Management tends to tolerate such employee-on-employee violence, leaving them fearful and with no place to turn to get help or protection from such attacks.
“It seems that these hostile people are everywhere, and when they act up, management tolerates it,” said another Postal employee who is aware of the attack on Hala.