OSC: Feds must not display political logos, swag at work

Federal employees are reminded to leave politics at home—or for after work and off the workplace premises.

The reminder came Mar. 5, in new guidelines issued by the Office of Special Council, the agency that protects the civil service from campaigns and political influence. The guidelines ban on-the-job display of political tchotchkes, and specifically those for and against the politics of the White House—including hats or trinkets carrying common slogans for or against the president on the campaign trail.

OSC issued the updated rules, clarifying the boundaries as President Trump recently indicated he intends to run for a second term.

The Hatch Act of 1939, though significantly modified over recent decades, sharply restricts political activity for feds—essentially banning it at work.

For more details, check out www.osc.gov.

Reader comments

Fri, Apr 6, 2018

What about military people that have their retirement congratulations signed by the former president at an official ceremony over a year after the president has changed office. Not sure (Yes I do) how people would have reacted if I had a signed retirement from Pres. Bush a year after he was out of office.

Fri, Apr 6, 2018

Congress & the DOJ Inspector General's Office have been investigating the blatant political activities of top officials in the FBI & DOJ in 2016, trying to influence the outcome of a Presidential election. To date, not one has been prosecuted, but one was fired just before collecting his pension. It appears these same people are obstructing Justice by refusing to turn over documents to Congress, as required by law.

Thu, Apr 5, 2018

It appears a few people have no idea what the HATCH Act covers. Surprising since we all have to take training on it.

Thu, Apr 5, 2018 Paul

Sorry, but those are the old rules. Trump has taught us that ethics no longer matter. Scott Pruitt is still employed after renting a condo from a lobbyist for $50/night. He also gave 2 friends huge raises and lied today and said he didn't know they got raises. Don't talk to me about ethics.

Tue, Mar 13, 2018

Bumper stickers are fine - they are in a private capacity. The "No War in Iraq" sign is also ok as it advocates a policy and not a politician, party, or political position. The Hatch Act "restricts employees from using their official government positions for partisan political purposes, including by trying to influence partisan elections."

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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