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Hatch Act FAQs

​​​​General

 

​Federal Em​ployees

 Accordion Control - Federal

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 Federal Candidacy & Elections

 

 

May I serve as a presidential elector?
What is a partisan election?
Can I be a candidate in a partisan election?
May I run as an independent candidate in a partisan election?
I live in a designated locality and I want to run as an independent candidate for State Senate. May I do so?
May I keep my elected position if I become a federal employee after taking office?
Can I be appointed to partisan political office?
What is a nonpartisan election?
If I run as a candidate for public office in a nonpartisan election, does the Hatch Act allow me to ask for and accept political contributions?
I am a candidate in a nonpartisan election. Can I use my official title in my campaign materials?
Can I volunteer for someone’s campaign?
May I distribute brochures for a political party to people arriving at a polling place on Election Day?
May I run an advertisement in my local newspaper endorsing a candidate for delegate, at the request of the candidate?
Does the Hatch Act still apply to me if I take a leave of absence to work on a campaign?
Can I serve as a treasurer for a political action committee (PAC) or as the treasurer for someone’s campaign?
May I serve as a poll worker, poll watcher, election official, or in any other capacity at the polls on election day?
May I be a candidate in a partisan primary election?
May I be a candidate in an election in which other candidates are nominated by a political party?
I want to run for an elected office that is designated as nonpartisan under state or local law, meaning that candidates do not appear on the ballot with party affiliation. May I do so?
I am a candidate in an election designated as nonpartisan and will not seek or advertise a political party’s endorsement. However, I want to work with a political party to promote my candidacy. May I do so?

 Federal Participation in Political Party or Campaign Activities

 

 Fundraising

 

 

May a federal employee send or forward an email invitation to a political fundraising event to others?
Can I help organize a political fundraiser?
Can my name appear on invitations to a political fundraiser as a sponsor or point of contact?
Can I speak at a political fundraiser?
If I am going to speak at a political fundraiser, what information about me can be printed on the invitations?
Can my spouse host a fundraiser?
My spouse is hosting a political fundraiser. Can I assist with the event?
A political party is hosting a “meet and greet” luncheon for a partisan political candidate. The event is not a fundraiser, but tickets cost $20 to cover room rental and catering. May an employee sell tickets to the event or collect the $20 from attendees
May an employee solicit and accept contributions to help pay for the costs of attending a political party convention as a delegate?
Does the Hatch Act prohibit me from soliciting or accepting political contributions even when I am off duty and not in the federal workplace?
May a federal employee who is a member of a union (i.e., federal labor organization) solicit or receive a political contribution?
Can I make a contribution to the campaign of a partisan candidate, or to a political party or organization?
I am a federal employee and a supervisor. May I invite my subordinates to a fundraiser for a partisan political candidate or political party?
Can I participate in a “tiered” political fundraiser where, for an additional contribution amount, attendees can meet with me, take a picture with me, or otherwise receive a special benefit related to my participation?

 Activity in the Workplace

 

 

Can I wear a face mask or other personal protective equipment (PPE) to work if the PPE has a partisan political image or slogan?
Can I display a picture of a candidate for partisan political office in my workspace?
Can I wear a partisan political button or T-shirt while I am at work or display such items in my office?
Can I have a screen saver on my computer or a picture in my office with a political message (e.g., a campaign sign, campaign logo, etc.)?
If I have a bumper sticker on my personal car, am I allowed to park the car in a government lot or garage, or in a private lot/garage if the government subsidizes my parking fees?
Will I violate the Hatch Act if I listen to radio programs discussing partisan politics or candidates for partisan political office, or read a book about politics or political candidates while I am in the federal workplace?
Is it a Hatch Act violation for a federal agency to have televisions in the federal workplace that are tuned to stations such as Fox News or MSNBC?
If the sitting President is a candidate for reelection, may federal employees display his or her picture in their offices?
Can a federal employee display in his office a photograph of his spouse or child even if the spouse or child is a candidate in an election for partisan political office?
What is a partisan political e-mail?
May a federal employee—while on duty or in the workplace—receive a partisan political email?
May a federal employee—while on duty or in the workplace—forward a partisan political email from her government email account to her personal email account?
May a federal employee—while on duty or in the workplace—send or forward a partisan political email from his government email account or his personal email account to others?
May I write a letter to the editor or post a comment on a blog endorsing a partisan political candidate?
I am a union official who is given official time to perform representational duties. Am I still considered “on duty” for purposes of the Hatch Act during that time?
Can federal agencies discipline their employees for violating an internal e-mail or computer policy even though OSC is also investigating the same activity for a Hatch Act violation?
May a federal employee—while on duty or in the workplace—send or forward an email about currents events or matters of public interest to others?
May a federal employee send or forward a partisan political email to subordinate employees?
May federal employees express their views about current events, policy issues, and matters of public interest at work or on duty?
If an agency chooses to disseminate “news clips” to its employees, what are the best practices to avoid a Hatch Act violation?
May I wear or display partisan materials when I am teleworking and participating in a videoconference?
May I use a partisan image as the profile picture for my official email account or on other official software?

 Social Media

 

 

If a federal employee has listed his official title or position on Facebook, may he also complete the “political views” field?
May a federal employee engage in political activity on Facebook or Twitter?
May a federal employee engage in political activity on Facebook or Twitter if she is “friends” with or has “followers” who are subordinate employees?
What should an employee do if someone posts or “tweets” a message soliciting political contributions to a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race, or a link to the political contribution page for such entities, on the employee’s social media page?
May a federal employee become a “friend,” “like,” or “follow” the social media page of a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race?
May a federal employee continue to “friend,” “like,” or “follow” an official social media page of a government official after he has become a candidate for reelection?
May a federal employee use an alias to “friend,” “like,” or “follow” the social media page of a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race?
May a federal employee use a Facebook or Twitter account in his official capacity to engage in political activity?
May a federal agency have a Facebook or Twitter account that includes information or links to information about a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race?
May a federal agency post a news article about the speech of an agency official (e.g., Secretary or Administrator) at a political event for a candidate in a partisan race on the agency’s Facebook or Twitter account?
May a federal employee display a political party or campaign logo or candidate photograph as her cover or header photo on Facebook or Twitter?
May a federal employee display a political party or campaign logo or a candidate photograph as his profile picture on Facebook or Twitter?

 Presidential Appointees with Senate Confirmation

​State/Local/Nonprofit Employees

 Accordion Control - State