Fedsmith warning March 2018, specifically addresses clothing and photos in the workplace. Fedsmith warning November 2015, doesn’t address clothing and photos in the workplace, gives guidance to acceptable conduct.
Federal employees, it’s time to start leaving those MAGA hats at home. Same goes for Resist hats. Tweeting over your lunch break in the building cafeteria? Watch your hashtag or you may end up in the hash.
The Office of Special Counsel, a federal agency that enforces the Hatch Act limits on allowable political activities by federal employees, said Monday that additional restrictions now apply because President Donald Trump is officially running for re-election in 2020.
For Hatch Act purposes, that occurred last week with the appointment of Brad Parscale, a digital marketing strategist who worked on the 2016 Trump campaign, to manage the president’s re-election bid. The OSC had said earlier that Trump’s filing of campaign paperwork a year ago with the Federal Election Commission had not met that threshold.
Federal employees are barred at all times from using their official authority to influence the outcome of an election and from involvement in fundraising in support of a political party, candidate in a partisan race or partisan political group.
Certain additional restrictions apply to most employees only when they are on duty and/or in a federal workplace: They may not engage in political activity directed at the success or failure of such a party, candidate or group.
“This prohibition is broad and encompasses more than displays or communications (including in person and via email or social media) that expressly advocate for or against President Trump’s reelection,” says the new guidance.
“For example, while on duty or in the workplace, employees may not: Wear, display, or distribute items with the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ or any other materials from President Trump’s 2016 or 2020 campaigns; use hashtags such as #MAGA or #ResistTrump in social media posts or other forums; or display non- official pictures of President Trump,” it says.