When the Hatch Act was passed in 1939, social media tools like Facebook and Twitter were decades away.
But they are ubiquitous now and the Office of Special Council has received many questions about how the law, which limits the political activity of federal employees, affects these new forms of communication. With the District and Maryland holding primary elections next month and the entire country gearing up for congressional and other elections in November, OSC decided it's a good time to let federal employees know what they can do using social media without running afoul of the law.
The Hatch Act applies to executive branch workers, including postal employees, but not the president and vice president. District government workers also are covered. Congress, however, is considering legislation, introduced by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), that would exclude them once the District enacts a law with the same effect.