Congressman intimidating a federal employee
The 1993 Hatch Act Amendments thus removed many of the most restrictive limitations in federal law on employees' personal, off-duty voluntary activity, speech and expression, while at the same time provided more express statutory prohibitions on work place politicking. and 1211 et seq., creating Merit Systems Protection Board and Office of Special Counsel. Employees who remain subject to the old Hatch Act-type of prohibition include those employees who are not appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate in the following agencies: the Federal Election Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Office of Special Counsel, the Office of Criminal Investigation of the Internal Revenue Service, the Employees in the Office of the President, including those employed directly in the White House, have historically come within the general provisions of the Hatch Act since its enactment in 1939, although some were expressly exempt from the strict "no politics" portion of Section 9(a) of the original Act. Office of Investigative Programs of the United States Customs Service, the Office of Law Enforcement of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; employees who are career Senior Executive Service appointees (5 U. The restrictions on being a candidate for office thus bar a federal executive branch employee from running for "any" elective public office, that is, even a State, local or county office, which is filled in an election where "any" of the candidates in the election run as a Democrat or a Republican. The "public" space of federal buildings, lands or parks or other federal property may generally be used for private partisan political activities of candidates or others, as long as such activity does not interfere with the normal official functions and governmental activities in that building or property. There may, in fact, be constitutional limitations on the amount of restraint or prohibition that the government may impose over the free exercise of political speech and activity on or in any area of federal property which is considered a "public forum." See, for example, United States v. In 1993, the provisions of Hatch Act were significantly amended by the "Hatch Act Amendments of 1993" to allow most federal employees to engage in a wide range of voluntary, partisan political activities on their own free time, away from their federal jobs and off of any federal premises. 75, 94-103 (1947); and United States Civil Service Commission v. Note also the emergence of employee protections through recognized bargaining representatives and statutorily required grievance procedures. See debates on Hatch Act and Dempsey Amendment concerning the President's staff in the White House office, 84 Congressional Record 9596-9639, 76th Congress, 1st Sess., July 20, 1939; note 1 Op. Compare "Memorandum for the Heads of All Departments and Agencies," from Fred F. partisan election." However, the regulations make it clear that the election itself must be "non-partisan," that is, "none of the candidates is to be nominated or elected as representing" such political parties. Note General Services Administration regulations on use of public buildings, at 41 C.
Rules and rulings governing congressional employees are discussed in another C. Certain public employees in State and local governmental agencies, when their duties involve federally funded activities, are also covered by some federal restrictions on political activities. 403 (1883), concerning political contributions and political coercion. The Hatch Act Amendments of 1993 define a covered "employee" to include individuals employed in or holding office in "an Executive agency" (other than the General Accounting Office), or in a position "within the competitive service which is not in an Executive Agency," but expressly exclude "a member of the uniformed service." The permissible and prohibited political activities of military personnel are governed generally by rules set out in Department of Defense Directive 1344.10. The restrictions on federal executive branch employees generally do not follow federal contract or grant funds to restrict the personal political activities of the individuals who are or who work for recipients of such funds. That provision, however, was repealed by the Hatch Act Amendments of 1993. The request or direction by a supervisor to an employee he or she supervises to engage in partisan political activity, or to use resources, time or supplies in such activity may, therefore, implicate this section of the Hatch Act on use of official authority, particularly because of the inherently coercive nature of the supervisor-supervisee relationship. They also prohibit these employees from soliciting, accepting, and receiving political contributions, except under the conditions specified in the Amendments See discussion by OPM in 59 Fed. Federal criminal law also expressly prohibits all federal employees from making political contributions to their employers or employing authority, that is, to their "bosses." Amendments to that criminal provision by the Hatch Act Amendments of 1993, however, now allow federal employees covered by the Hatch Act to make such political contributions as long as no Hatch Act violation occurs.18 U. A federal criminal statute which had originated in the Pendleton Civil Service Act of 1883 currently prohibits anyone from soliciting or receiving political contributions in official federal office space. not use it for other than authorized activities." Administrative rulings have upheld disciplinary actions against federal employees who have misused such Government resources as the telephone, copier, or computer for certain personal business ventures, as opposed to use for official governmental activities.
The investigative hearings and report focused on the abuses of the merit system and use of public work relief funds (W. A.) to coerce political activities, loyalty and contributions from workers. See 1997 Federal Personnel Guide, Key Communications Group, at 11 (1997); Comm. "Aggravating" factors included evidence of "coercion, knowing disregard of the law, a substantial number of violations, or a significant disruption of government functions." Concerning campaign fund raising solicitations in the White House, it should be noted that the White House has historically been considered a personal "residence" as well as an area containing federal office space for the conduct of official governmental business, and that the Department of Justice has found, therefore, that certain areas and rooms in the White House, depending on their use, are outside of the prohibition on campaign fundraising activities in a "room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties." 3 Op. The Office of Personnel Management has issued regulations specifying those communities in which federal employees may be independent candidates even in partisan elections.