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Some political activities are permitted under the Hatch Act

Employees can make donations, volunteer for campaigns and more

A worker at the polls displays an "I Voted" sticker
USPS employees can volunteer at polls on Election Day.

The Postal Service wants employees to understand — and follow — the rules on political activities under the Hatch Act.

The law prohibits federal workers — including USPS employees — from engaging in partisan political activity while on duty, while wearing a uniform, while on government property or while inside a vehicle owned or leased by the government.

The Hatch Act’s goals are to ensure federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect employees from political coercion in the workplace, and to ensure that employees are promoted based on merit and not political affiliation.

While the law restricts the partisan political activity of federal employees, not all actions are off limits.

For instance, employees are permitted to:

• Vote in elections;

• Assist in voter registration drives;

• Donate to political candidates and parties;

• Work at the polls on Election Day;

• Volunteer for political campaigns;

• Attend political fundraisers;

• Place campaign signs at their residence; and

• Run for offices in which none of the candidates is affiliated with a political party.

Violating the Hatch Act can result in disciplinary action against an employee, 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.