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Do’s and don’ts

Hatch Act updates affect postal employees

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has issued updated guidance on adhering to the Hatch Act as it pertains to federal employees’ use of social media.

The Postal Service reminds employees that they must follow rules established by the Hatch Act, a law that prohibits federal workers from engaging in some political activities.

The main point of the Hatch Act is to prevent federal employees from using their positions to unduly influence elections.

Under the law, employees can register to vote and support their favorite candidates by voting.

Employees also can post campaign logos or images on social media, such as their personal Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

However, employees could run into trouble if they use campaign images as profile photos.

The reasoning: Since those images are attached to everything they like or tweet, they become the sort of active on-the-clock politicking restricted under the Hatch Act.

(USPS employees aren’t allowed to use their social media accounts while on the clock.)

More information is available in the recently updated FAQs the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

Employees who have additional questions should contact their field law office or send an email to

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