Saturday, October 29, 2016

Partisan Political Activities and Federal Workers: Questions in the 2016 Election

"As Election Day nears, interest in the Hatch Act’s regulation of government employees’ political activities peaks, with a number of issues raising congressional interest. Are federal officials permitted to appear with candidates for partisan political election at public events? Can federal entities endorse a candidate for partisan political election? The following Q&A addresses the issues implicated by these questions.

How does the Hatch Act regulate federal employees’ ability to engage in the political process? 

Federal law, commonly known as “the Hatch Act,” has regulated federal executive branch employees’ participation in partisan political activities for over a century. Although it originally applied a broad ban on all voluntary, outside activities in politics, subsequent amendments in 1993 and 2012 have allowed most federal employees to engage in a wide range of voluntary, partisan political activities in their time off-duty, away from their federal jobs, and off any federal premises. Some strict limitations still apply, however, to employees of certain designated agencies (e.g., certain law enforcement and national security agencies)..."
Political activities and federal workers

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