Hatch Act Violations
The Federal Practice Group has experience representing clients in situations of an accused Hatch Act violation. Though generally handled independently by a government agency, OSC has jurisdiction to hold Hatch Act violation hearings which will be decided by the MSPB. It is important to know your rights and consult with a lawyer if you are accused of violating the Hatch Act.
What is the Hatch Act?
The Hatch Act restricts Federal Employees from taking part in certain political activity. The purpose of the act is to prevent federal employees from being discriminated upon for their political affiliation or partisan involvement.
The Hatch Act restricts some employees more than others, depending on their position and responsibilities. The most restricted employees include Presidential Appointees Approved by the Senate, members of the Senior Executive Service, Intelligence Community Officials, and most Law Enforcement Employees. The less restricted employees make up the majority of federal employees, and include everyone aside from the aforementioned groups.
The majority of federal employees fall into the less restricted group under the Hatch Act. Employees in this group are prohibited from:
- Engaging in political activity in the workplace
- Engaging in political activity in an official capacity at any time
- Soliciting or receiving political contributions at any time
In addition to the restrictions mentioned above, members in this further-restricted group are also prohibited from:
- taking an active part in any political management or partisan political campaign
- “sharing,” “liking,” and “retweeting,” any social media post directly from a campaign or political party
- “sharing” “liking,” and “retweeting,” any social media post that requests contributions for a candidate or political party
The Federal Practice Group has experience defending employees during Hatch Act hearings with the OCS, MSPB, or with a specific government agency. If you have been accused of a Hatch Act violation, or have further questions regarding the matter, schedule a consultation with the Federal Practice Group today.