With Election Day quickly approaching, we thought now would be a great time to remind everyone about the Hatch Act’s restrictions on political activity for Federal employees.
The Hatch Act defines political activity as any activity directed toward the success or failure of any political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group. The Hatch Act prohibits you from engaging in these activities while on duty, in a Federal building, wearing a Department of Interior uniform or insignia, or in a Federal vehicle unless you are a Presidentially Appointed Senate-confirmed (PAS) employee.
The Hatch Act also contains certain 24/7 prohibitions that apply to you even while you are off duty and outside of a Federal building or vehicle:
Some employees, such as Career Senior Executive Service employees, Administrative Law Judges, Administrative Appeals Judges, and Contract Appeals Judges are considered “further restricted” under the Hatch Act. In addition to the above prohibitions, further restricted employees are also prohibited from taking an active part in partisan political management or campaigning.
The Hatch Act also restricts the personal use of social media by Federal employees in the following ways:
If you have any questions concerning this guidance or any other ethics topic, please reach out to an ethics counselor. Contact information for the DOI’s Departmental Ethics Office and bureau ethics counselors is available at https://www.doi.gov/ethics/bureau-office-contacts.