A USPS sales associate in California violated the Hatch Act by making partisan political statements to a customer while working at a post office sales counter.
While in uniform, the employee told a customer that it costs $0.71 to mail a ballot, but “five bucks if you’re a Democrat” and remarked that he would never again vote for Democratic candidates. Other customers overheard the statements and one witness told OSC she decided to mail her ballot from a local library instead of the post office because she was concerned that the USPS employee would tamper with her ballot.
The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty, in a federal building, while wearing a uniform, or using a government-owned vehicle. The Hatch Act also prohibits federal employees from using their official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election. The individual admitted to violating the Hatch Act, and in a settlement agreement, agreed to serve a ten-day suspension without pay.