|Hatch Act - Political Activity by State Employees FAQs|
Q: What is the Hatch Act?
A: The Hatch Act is a federal law that limits the political activities
of federal employees and some employees of state and local government.
Q: Who is covered by the Hatch Act?
A: State employees who are principally employed in connection with a
program financed in whole or in part by federal funds are covered by the Hatch
Q: Are there any State employees who are exempt from the Hatch Act?
A: Yes. The governor, lieutenant governor, or other elected officials
are exempt if the elective office is their principal employment. Officers and
employees of an educational or research institution supported in whole or in
part by a State or political subdivision are also exempt from the Hatch Act.
Q: What are the restrictions for State employees regarding political
A: State employees who are covered by the Hatch Act may not use their
official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or
affecting the result of an election or nomination for office. State or local
employees subject to the provisions of the Hatch Act may not: 1) use official
authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the
result of elections or nominations for office; 2) directly or indirectly
coerce, attempt to coerce, command or advise a state or local officer or
employee to pay, lend or contribute anything of value to a party, committee,
organization, agency or person for political purposes; or 3) be candidates for
elective office in a partisan election. The Ethics, Government Accountability, and Campaign Reform Act of 1991 places other limitations on State employees in regard to political activity. Employees should contact the State Ethics Commission for further information on these limitations.
Q: What are some protections for State employees regarding political
A: State employees, including those who are covered by the Hatch Act,
may vote as they choose and express their opinions on political subjects and
candidates including, for example, serving as a poll worker or assisting with a
Q: Can a State employee maintain his employment during the course of his
candidacy for a political office?
A: A State employee who is covered by the provisions of the Hatch Act may not be a candidate in a partisan election. A state employee not covered by the Hatch Act or a state employee running as a candidate in a non-partisan election may maintain his employment during the course of his candidacy for political office. Employees with questions regarding their specific situation should contact their agency regarding any agency-specific policies regarding this issue. Employees and employers may also contact the State Ethics Commission regarding potential limitations on political activity by State employees.