The Hatch Act is a Federal law that regulates political campaign activity by Federal employees as well as State, and local government employees that are paid with federal funds.
Just as FEMA helps people of all political backgrounds, Federal employees cannot promote a particular candidate or political party in their official capacity, or while using government property—whether it be a government car, building, computer, or phone—wearing FEMA gear, while at work, or in a Government vehicle.
Here are some tips to make sure you comply with the Hatch Act:
- Do not solicit, accept, or collect a candidate’s campaign funds, even during your free time.
- Never send campaign emails, access campaign websites, or forward campaign emails from your work computer or during the workday.
- Do not work for a political campaign while wearing FEMA gear and do not wear campaign buttons or promote a particular candidate during your FEMA workday.
- Do not link any official FEMA Office Facebook pages to political campaign websites.
Federal employees can and should promote voter registration and everyone's right to vote. If you want to promote your favorite political candidate or campaign, contact OCC first. Violators to the Hatch Act can be removed from their Federal position.
To learn more about how the Hatch Act relates to you, the Office of Chief Counsel has posted a variety of relevant materials, including useful FAQs, on the FEMA’s Ethics Office intranet site.
Additional materials are available on the Office of Special Counsel’s Hatch Act page. Also, please take time to listen to the OCC Podcast on the Hatch Act, available at http://on.fema.net/components/oocc/Pages/Podcasts.aspx. (scroll down to the section titled: “Hatch Act and Other Ethics Materials”)
Please contact your assigned Ethics Counselor if you have any questions. Just click on the “Ethics Counselor Assignments” document for contact information.
For specific questions, feel free to contact Paul Conrad, FEMA’s Senior Ethics Attorney, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-646-4025 or Rachael Bralliar, Counselor to the Chief Counsel at email@example.com; 202-646-3644.