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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.

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

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."

Fri, Mar 9, 2018

What about Union Propaganda against the POTUS? That stuff hangs all over the bulletin board at my office on JBSA.

Fri, Mar 9, 2018

I looked up the word "swag" in the dictionary. It is defined as an ornamental hanging, as a valance or wreath, draped between two points. Slang, it refers to stolen money or property; loot. It is not short for swagger as your article implies, and would be used incorrectly by the OSC or any one else including your public interest group. I also doubt that the term swag is part of federal conduct guidelines. You therefore need to post a correction in your newsletter as soon as possible or I will file a complaint with the OSC myself.

Fri, Mar 9, 2018

Good advice. At the same time I am deeply offended by the failure of my agency to post, as traditionally been done, photographs of the President, Secretary of Interior and Director of the NPS in the lobby of our federal office. I appreciate highlighting what supporters and detractors of President Trump can do, but perhaps attention should be given to the passively critical partisanship by not displaying the photos. Also the term, "swag" is ambiguous and not a word I have ever seen in federal employee's code of conduct.

Wed, Mar 7, 2018

Somebody should have told that to my colleague, who had a large "No War in Iraq" sign posted in her work cubicle during most of George W. Bush's presidency.

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