HomeNewsArticle Display

Employees need to know, heed Hatch Act rules

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFNS) -- Department of Defense civilian employees must be aware of the law limiting political activities in the federal workplace, during duty hours, or on federal property at any time.

The law restricting federal employees from engaging in certain political activities is in Title 5 of the United States Code, Sections 7321-7326, and Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, parts 733 and 734, commonly referred to as the Hatch Act. It defines political activity as “an activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office or partisan political group.”

“While the Air Force recognizes your right to support the issues and candidates of your choice, there are specific rules governing it, as well as roles one can assume as a government employee,” said Kathy Owens, chief of Employee and Labor Relations.

The act limits actions by federal employees to ensure the government functions fairly and effectively. Employees who violate the Hatch Act may be subject to a range of disciplinary actions, including removal from federal service or employment.

According to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, while on duty, employees may not use government computers to send or forward political content or post to social media sites. Additionally, employees must never post a comment to a blog or social media site that advocates for or against a political party, candidate for political office, or political group when in a pay status, other than paid leave, or if representing the government in an official capacity.

The act also prohibits federal civilian employees from distributing campaign materials, performing campaign-related activities, displaying partisan political support to a candidate or political party or making political contributions on government time or by using government equipment.

The Hatch Act ensures federal programs are nonpartisan, federal employees are free from political coercion in the workplace and that promotions are on merit and not political affiliation, according to information on the U.S. Office of Special Counsel’s website.

It does not cover members of the military who have their own restrictions; however, if you are a member of the National Guard or the Reserves, as well as a federal civilian employee, the Hatch Act does apply.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel offers advice to civilian employees on how to avoid violating the rules on social media and email at https://osc.gov/Pages/Hatch-Act-Social-Media-and-Email-Guidance.aspx.

The guidance concerning political activity for military members is found in DOD Directive 1344.10. Active duty personnel may not engage in partisan political activities while in uniform, and all military personnel should avoid creating the inference that their political activities imply or appear to imply DOD sponsorship, approval or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign or cause. The directive is available at http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodd/134410p.pdf.

Additional resources on the Hatch Act are located at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel’s website at https://osc.gov/Pages/HatchAct-AdditionalResouces.aspx.

To request an advisory opinion from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, go online to https://osc.gov/Pages/HatchAct-AdvisoryAction.aspx or send an email to hatchact@osc.gov.

Engage

Twitter
Hear why this #Airman chose to get vaccinated. @SecAFOfficial directed the COVID-19 vaccine implementation guideli… https://t.co/98IPwW9eUB
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: September is #SuicideAwarenessMonth. Suicide is a serious issue in the military & preventing it is a priority. Here are res…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: “It feels amazing to help. It makes us proud to wear this uniform, and it reminds us why we put it on and why we raised o…
Twitter
.@RamsteinAirBase welcomed 200 volunteers sent by the German military in support of Operation Allies Refuge during… https://t.co/GsAf6EQzi4
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: On the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, we will never forget. #PatriotDay #NationalDayofServiceandRemembrance https://t.co/PfGXl…
Twitter
.@TeamMinot, N.D., hosted Operation Road Warrior for its #Defenders and Wyoming's @90thMissileWing security forces… https://t.co/xnFRoierGT
Twitter
Today, we recognize Patriot Day and remember the thousands of lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. We acknow… https://t.co/BMgNcZ9fuE
Twitter
Multinational students and #AirForce instructors from around the globe came together to learn and expand on allied… https://t.co/1qtqi9OrN2
Twitter
Throughout August, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, @grandslamwing operated as a transit hub for Afghan refugees evacuated… https://t.co/amVMg8VqlE
Twitter
The #AirForce released its 2021 assessment on how states support Air and Space Force families. The evaluation measu… https://t.co/bseHKsXUzM
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A message from @USAirForce & @SpaceForceDoD senior leaders leading up to 9/11: "We will never forget the nearly 3,000 in…
Twitter
Findings from the Department of the Air Force Inspector General Independent Racial Disparity review have been relea… https://t.co/zUZyNB2gT4
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF Kendall on the two disparity reviews released today by the Department of the Air Force: "[This] isn’t the end of a…
Twitter
RT @UnderSecAF: Our continued commitment of honesty and transparency to the women and men of the Air Force and Space Force remains unwaveri…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: We must continue to listen to our people, understand what they are experiencing, and receive their feedback as we take st…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Department of the Air Force released updates on its first Racial Disparity Review & the results of a second, expande…
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force released a progress update on the Inspector General Independent Racial Disparity Re… https://t.co/yStaRW3ZA9
Twitter
Innovators and thought leaders gathered at the AFWERX Innovation Hub in Las Vegas, Nevada, to review technologies t… https://t.co/Oozq4M1Xek
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,374,857
Follow Us