Hatch Act Tip of the Month, September 2020
The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from using their official authority or influence to affect the outcome of an election. But how does this apply to NATCA members? What influence do we have?
Federal employees, including NATCA members, may not wear anything identifying themselves as federal employees when engaging in partisan political activity. This includes wearing an FAA badge when engaging in partisan political activity.
You also may not reference that you are an FAA, DOT, or federal government employee while engaging in partisan political activity. This includes listing your federal facility. For example, it is improper to say, “as an air traffic controller at Memphis tower, I support candidate X.”
All congressional visits to federal facilities must be coordinated with your NLC Rep who will work with the FAA to receive all of the necessary approvals. We cannot invite a partisan candidate to a facility for a campaign related purpose.
On social media, federal employees may include their official titles or positions and where they work in their social media profiles, even if they also include their political affiliation or otherwise use their account to engage in political activity. However, federal employees may not use their official titles or positions when posting messages directed at the success or failure of a political party, candidate in a partisan race, or partisan political group.