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When it comes to political activities, here are the don’ts

USPS employees must follow the Hatch Act during election season

A woman looks at her smartphone
USPS employees are not permitted to post or interact with political content on social media while on duty.

The Postal Service is reminding employees to abide by the Hatch Act as Election Day nears.

The Hatch Act is a law restricting the partisan political activity of civilian, executive branch employees of the federal government, including USPS employees.

Under the law, political activity is defined as any action directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office or partisan political group.

While on duty, on postal property, wearing a uniform or using a postal vehicle, USPS employees are prohibited from:

• Making or interacting with political social media postings;

• Wearing political apparel and accessories; and

• Placing a political bumper sticker on a postal vehicle or a personal vehicle that is used to deliver the mail.

Whether on or off duty, Postal Service employees also can’t:

• Host a political fundraiser or invite anyone to attend a political fundraiser;

• Solicit, collect or receive money for a candidate, campaign, political party or political action committee;

• Use their postal title or position to influence or interfere with elections; and

• Be a candidate in a partisan election.

The Hatch Act also applies to social media use. While employees are allowed to engage with partisan political content while off duty, they are prohibited from posting or sharing messages that solicit political contributions or invite others to political fundraisers.

Violations of the Hatch Act can result in disciplinary action, including suspension, removal and debarment from federal employment, and up to $1,000 in civil penalties.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has more information about what federal employees can and cannot do under the Hatch Act.

Employees with questions can email the USPS Ethics Office or call 202-268-6346.