Yes, political passions are at fever pitch this election season, but federal workers are risking their jobs if they cross in the line into activity banned by the Hatch Act, the Office of Special Counsel warns in a news release. The agency is responsible for enforcement of the act, which generally bars partisan politicking on government time.
As evidence, the agency cites two cases that it took to the Merit Systems Protection Board. Both involved workers who in 2008 sent fund-raising e-mails while at work on behalf of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
In one of those cases, involving an IRS agent, the board in August ordered a 120-day suspension. In the other, where a Bureau of Printing and Engraving contracting officer sent fund-raising pitches to three contract workers over whom she had “authority and influence,” the board in June ordered her fired after a 38-year government career.