USPS: Employee suspended after Hatch Act violation

Distributing campaign materials at work is considered partisan political activity and violates the Hatch Act.

The Postal Service is again educating employees about the Hatch Act by providing examples of co-workers who broke the law.

The Hatch Act aims to keep politics out of federal workplaces by prohibiting workers from engaging in political activity while on duty, while wearing a uniform, while on federal property or while inside a federal vehicle.

In 2018, USPS conducted a communications campaign that featured examples of actual employees who violated the Hatch Act in a variety of ways, including a letter carrier who wrote “corrections” on political mailpieces before delivering them and a retail associate who made political posts on social media while on the clock.

The campaign resumed this month with the example of “Travis” — not his real name — an employee who brought campaign signs promoting a presidential candidate to the Post Office where he works.

Travis obtained the posters from his union to distribute to other union members, but was advised not to do so at work. Nevertheless, he announced during a morning staff meeting that the union had endorsed the candidate and he had signs in his workspace for anyone who was interested.

Employees are allowed to distribute campaign materials away from federal property when off duty and not in uniform, but distributing these kind of materials at work is considered partisan political activity and violates the Hatch Act.

Following an investigation, Travis reached a settlement agreement to serve a 30-day suspension for his violation.

The Postal Service will continue its campaign throughout 2020, highlighting other violations that employees should avoid.

The Ethics Blue page has more Hatch Act resources, including a “Let’s Talk Politics!” fact sheet. Employees who have questions can contact their local field law office or send an email to

Related: APWU Clerk NBA Turney: Proper Use of Social Media

Source: USPS

4 thoughts on “USPS: Employee suspended after Hatch Act violation

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Rochester, NY Area Local 215
    Office held, if any
    President Emeritus
    Email Address

    Kelly Ann Conway of the Trump administration and inventor of the term “alternative facts”, as justification for what is now over 17,000 lies and misleading statements made by the President, has been cited several times for Hatch Act violations. They were cited as offenses that warranted termination. This should be used in the defense of any Hatch Act violation. It should be unacceptable, whether the Hatch Act or the Code of Conduct, both which apply to all Federal employees, that such regulations are never enforced for those at the top, but always enforced against the workers.

  2. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Oakland Local Retiree Chapter
    Office held, if any
    President, Oakland Area Retiree Chapter
    Email Address

    The Hatch Act has been shredded to strips from the White House and nobody lost a job , or demoted. They were praised for supporting, yet Hatch Act violations rampant. Nobody should be fired until all people within the Hatch Act regulations are on board.

  3. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Pittsburgh Area Retiree Chapter
    Office held, if any
    Email Address

    FYI: When Jesse Jackson was running for President I posted notices on bulletin boards that he would be speaking at the Mass that preceded the Labor Day Parade. Management ordered the notices be removed. We sued them in Federal Court in Western PA and won. The notices stayed. The Union at the Local level should push the envelope without fear or trepidation as we did.

  4. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Queens Area Local, 1022
    Email Address

    Remember they went after President Moe Biller and he was off the clock, not on USPS payroll, working full time for the APWU.

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