Hatch Act: Limits on Political Activities

Date Issued: November 3, 2014

RECIPIENT

  • All Certified and/or Funded Providers
  • Local Governmental Units (LGUs)
     


PURPOSE

The following information describes the limitations that affect the political activities of staff of OASAS funded providers and LGUs. As part of the SAPT Block Grant, OASAS assures the federal government that entities that receive SAPT Block Grant funds from OASAS will comply with the Hatch Act (5 USC Sections 1501 et seq) and the Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012 (Pub. L.112-230).


WHO IS SUBJECT TO LIMITATIONS ON POLITICAL ACTIVITIES:

All State or local employees are subject to the Act if, as a normal and foreseeable incident to their principal position or job, they perform duties in connection with an activity that is financed in whole or in part by federal funds. With few exceptions, all OASAS funded providers are in part supported by federal block grant funds, all OASAS employees and local government employees who administer OASAS grants are covered employees under the Act.


"HATCH ACT" PROHIBITIONS

  1. Candidacy of public office in a partisan election (i.e., an election in which any candidate represents a party whose presidential candidate got any electoral votes in the preceding presidential election), if the employee's salary is fully funded, directly or indirectly, by federal loan or grant monies.
  2. Using official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the result of a nomination or election to public office.
  3. Coercing political contributions from subordinates.


WHAT IS PERMITTED UNDER THE HATCH ACT

  1. Voting and expressing political opinions.
  2. Candidacy in a nonpartisan election.
  3. Candidacy in a partisan election when their salary is not 100% funded by federal monies provided the employee does not:
     
    1. wear their uniform while campaigning;
    2. use agency resources to advance their candidacy; or
    3. coerce their subordinates to assist in campaign efforts.
       
  4. Campaigning and holding office in a political club.
  5. Campaigning for others as candidates for public office in partisan or nonpartisan elections.
  6. Contributing funds to political organizations or attending political fundraising functions.
  7. Participating in any activity not specifically prohibited.


WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR VIOLATION

Discharge, if the Federal Merit System Protection Board finds that a penalty is warranted.


WHAT IS THE PENALTY TO THE EMPLOYER FOR FAILING TO IMPOSE THAT PENALTY IF WARRANTED

Forfeiture from the grant equal to double the employee's salary. Additionally, if the employee is hired at an agency within 18 months of discharge from the originating agency, the hiring agency or the originating agency will be subject to loss of federal funding.


SOURCE(S) OF FURTHER INFORMATION

If you have any questions concerning this bulletin, please send them in writing to: [email protected]