Less Restricted Employees: Yes, but subject to the following limitations. The Hatch Act does not prohibit federal employees from expressing their opinions concerning partisan political candidates and political parties. However, the Act prohibits them from engaging in "political activity," that is, activity directed at the success or failure of a political party, partisan political candidate, or partisan political group, while they are on duty or in a building occupied in the discharge of official duties by a federal officer or employee. Thus, federal employees are prohibited from advocating for or against a political party, partisan political group, or candidate for partisan public office through a blog, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform while they are on duty or in the federal workplace. However, doing so off duty and away from the federal workplace would not violate the Hatch Act.
The Hatch Act also prohibits federal employees from using their official authority or influence to affect the result of an election. Therefore, although employees may advocate for or against political parties, partisan political groups, or candidates for partisan public office while off duty and away from the federal workplace, they may not refer to their official titles or positions with the government while engaged in such efforts. Note, however, that OSC would not consider the inclusion of a federal employee's official title or position on one's social media profile, without more, to be an improper use of his official authority to bolster the statements he posts.
Finally, federal employees are prohibited from soliciting, accepting, or receiving political contributions at any time. Thus, at no time should they suggest or ask anyone to make contributions to a political party, partisan political candidate, or partisan political group. Further, they should not provide links to the contribution page of any of those entities' websites.
Further Restricted Employees: Yes, but with an added limitation. In addition to the guidelines set forth above for less restricted employees, the Hatch Act prohibits further restricted employees from taking an active part in partisan political management and partisan political campaigns. This means further restricted employees may not engage in political activity on behalf of or in concert with a political party, partisan political group, or candidate for partisan public office. For instance, taking an "active part" would include: distributing material created by a partisan candidate, political party, or partisan political group; speaking at a political rally organized or sponsored by such entities; or serving as a campaign volunteer. It also would include engaging in political activity through a medium sponsored or controlled by a political party, partisan political group, or partisan candidate, such as by endorsing a candidate in a commercial sponsored by one of these entities.
Thus, the Hatch Act would prohibit a further restricted employee from posting or linking to campaign material or the website of a political party, partisan candidate, or partisan political group. In addition, a further restricted employee may not "share" or "re-share" these entities' Facebook pages or any posts on those pages, or "retweet" posts from these entities' Twitter accounts. OSC views these activities as active participation in partisan political campaigning because the employee is disseminating these entities' partisan political material.
Moreover, a further restricted employee may not post or comment on these entities' Facebook pages or "tweet" at their Twitter accounts because OSC would consider such activity to be engaging in political activity through a medium sponsored or controlled by a political party, partisan political group, or partisan candidate.