The Office of Special Counsel has said that President Trump’s appointment last week of a campaign manager officially made him a candidate covered by Hatch Act restrictions on federal employees, and it issued updated guidance for federal employees on prohibitions against politicking in the workplace or while on duty.

The Hatch Act restricts federal employees from engaging in certain partisan political activities at any time, while certain other types of activities apply only while on duty or in a federal building. Once a candidacy is announced, guidance says, the law prohibits federal employees from engaging in activities directed at the success or failure of the candidate.


Said the OSC, “the 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.

OSC Guidance on Social Media and the Hatch Act

The agency said, “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.”