Political Activity - Hatch Act Law and Legal Definition

The Hatch Act was passed in 1939 to limit partisan political activity of government workers. Under the Act, covered employees may not:

Be a candidate for a public office in a partisan election.

Play an active role in partisan political campaigns. This includes campaigning, collecting funds, distributing campaign materials, displaying campaign buttons, etc.

Actively participate in partisan political management. This includes holding office in political clubs or parties, organizing political rallies or meetings, aiding voter registration drives, etc.

Use official authority or influence to affect the election results. This includes use of official titles or positions while engaged in political activity, inviting subordinate employees to political events, etc.

Soliciting or receiving a donation or contribution for a partisan political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group. This includes collecting contributions or selling tickets to political fundraising functions.

The Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012 was passed on December 19, 2012, effective on January 27, 2013. The ban on partisan candidacy for state and local government employees changes under this law. Only state or local government employees whose salaries are completely paid with federal funds will be prohibited from running for partisan office.