USPS: Hatch Act education campaign begins

A USPS letter carrier pretends to conduct a Facebook live broadcast while sitting in an LLV. Under the Hatch Act, postal employees are prohibited from engaging in political activity while on federal property or while inside a federal vehicle.

Postal Service employees will soon receive new guidance on avoiding violations of the Hatch Act. The law prohibits postal and other federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty, while wearing a uniform, while on federal property or while inside a federal vehicle.

Beginning the week of April 2, USPS will provide employees with examples of co-workers who ran afoul of the Hatch Act. These examples will be featured in Link articles, field newsletters and messages on Postal Vision video monitors. In each example, the name of the employee who violated the Hatch Act has been changed.

First up: “George,” a letter carrier who received Hatch Act training but didn’t like what he heard, so he used a Facebook live broadcast to vent about the restrictions on his First Amendment rights and to explain why he was supporting a particular presidential candidate.

George wore his uniform and sat in his LLV during his “video selfie,” which was seen by his supervisors and USPS lawyers. The matter is under investigation.

“The Postal Service takes the Hatch Act seriously,” said Michael J. Elston, associate general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer. “By sharing real-life examples of USPS colleagues who violated the law, we want to demonstrate that these actions have real, serious consequences.”

USPS will share additional examples throughout the year.

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 ethics.help@usps.gov.

Source: USPS

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