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Federal Workers Get Political Guidelines for the Digital Age

Federal workers will have to keep their political opinions to themselves while they're on the clock. (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images File Photo)
Federal workers will have to keep their political opinions to themselves while they're on the clock. (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images File Photo)

Federal workers wishing to blast their political views on the 2016 elections on social media are reminded that they are barred from engaging in that behavior at the workplace and during work hours, guidelines released Thursday  by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.  

The guidance goes as far as to require federal employees to leave the premises of their workplace during break times to tweet or Facebook about campaign news, even from their personal cellphones and laptops.  

The OSC said it released the new guidelines because the digital age has created many more avenues for federal workers to violate the Hatch Act — the 1939 law that seeks to keep executive branch employees from using public funds to coerce others to support partisan causes.  

For example, because the Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from suggesting others make political contributions to candidates or partisan causes, the new guidelines say federal employees should refrain from liking or sharing links to candidates’ political contribution pages or fundraising events.  

“Social media and email — and the ease of accessing those accounts at work, either on computers or smartphones — have made it easier for federal employees to violate the Hatch Act,” reads a new FAQ on the perils of social media.  

A full list of the rules can he found here .

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