OSC found that an employee in Alaska violated the Hatch Act by wearing a political campaign hat while on duty. Image: Jillian Cain Photography/Shutterstock.com

A recent settlement in a Hatch Act case underscores that the restrictions on partisan political activities by federal employees applies to what they wear as well as what they say or do.

The Office of Special Counsel said it has reached a settlement for an unpaid 21-day suspension with a Postal Service employee it recently charged with violations related to wearing a “political campaign hat.”


Said the OSC, “The letter carrier wore the hat while delivering mail for about a month in May 2019. After receiving complaints from customers, the employee’s supervisor told him to stop wearing the hat while at work, and he complied. However, less than two months later, he posted to Facebook a picture of himself wearing the hat and his USPS uniform.”

The announcement noted that the law prohibits most federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty or while wearing a uniform or official insignia identifying the office or position of the employee.

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