OSC Issues Updated Hatch Act Guidance for 2020 Election

The Office of Special Counsel issued updated Hatch Act guidelines for federal employees after President Trump declared his candidacy for reelection in 2020.

Now that President Trump has officially announced his candidacy for reelection in 2020, the Office of Special Counsel has issued revised Hatch Act guidance for federal employees for the next presidential election.

The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in activity directed at the success or failure of the President’s candidacy while they are on duty or in the workplace.

OSC’s updated guidance for the next election states:

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. 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.

The OSC also recently issued revised Hatch Act social media guidelines which clearly spell out situations in which it is and is not acceptable to engage in political activity via social media outlets.

Candidate Trump Hatch Act Guidance 2018-03-05 by FedSmith Inc. on Scribd

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.