During this election season, remember to review provisions of the Hatch Act. It applies to all postal employees — including telecommuters.
The Hatch Act prohibits employees from engaging in political activity while on duty, in any government office, wearing an official uniform or using a government vehicle. That means no shirts and no hats, buttons or other items displaying the name or likeness of a candidate or political party. The law also prohibits employees from distributing partisan political messages at work.
Using a USPS computer or telephone to make a political contribution also is illegal, as is making political contributions while on the clock. Employees who use USPS email to send partisan political messages violate federal law and risk losing their jobs. Employees who receive email containing such messages should immediately delete them.
Employees can place political bumper stickers on their personal vehicles. If an employee’s car is parked on postal or other government property, the Hatch Act limits to one the number of visible bumper stickers that can be placed on the vehicle. If the vehicle is used for postal business, the employee must cover all political bumper stickers during the time the car is used for official work.
Employees aren’t completely prohibited from participating in the political process. They can register to vote and support their favorite candidates by voting on Election Day. Employees can participate in registration drives and contribute money to political organizations. They also can be candidates for public office, but only in nonpartisan elections.
Click here for a list of frequently-asked questions about the Hatch Act. Employees also can contact their local Field Law Office for more information, call the Ethics Helpline at 202-268-6346 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.