Social media and the Hatch Act

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has updated their guidance regarding the Hatch Act and federal employees’ use of social media and email.

The Hatch Act might not be something you typically think about, so here’s an excerpt from the guidance about profile pictures that support a specific political party or have a campaign logo:

“Because a profile picture accompanies most actions on social media, a federal employee would not be permitted, while on duty or in the workplace, to post, ‘share,’ ‘tweet,’ or ‘retweet’ any items on Facebook or Twitter, because each such action would show their support for a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race, even if the content of the action is not about those entities.”

We encourage you to read the entire FAQ, which can be downloaded from the link below. It’s easy for one of us to violate the Hatch Act and not even realize it, and it’s even easier to verify because everything we do on social media is tracked. Read this to learn how to avoid accidentally getting yourself in trouble.

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
OSC Press Release (PDF)