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The Hatch Act


The Hatch Act restricts certain political activities of Government employees, including SGEs when engaged in Government business). (Link to 5 C.F.R. 734 for more information)

In 1993, Congress passed legislation that substantially amended the Hatch Act, allowing most Federal and D.C. employees to engage in many types of political activity. However, certain restrictions on political activity still remain. For example, you may not use official authority to:

  • Interfere with an election
  • Solicit or discourage political activity of anyone with business before their agency
  • Solicit or receive political contributions (may be done in certain limited situations by Federal labor or other employee organizations)
  • Be a candidate for public office in partisan elections
  • Engage in political activity while on duty, in a Government office, wearing an official uniform, using a Government vehicle or wear partisan political buttons on duty

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel promotes compliance by Government employees with legal restrictions on political activity by providing advisory opinions on, and enforcing, the Hatch Act. Link to the Office of Special Counsel web site for more information

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