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DHS Director or Deputy Director
Approved Date: 10/19/2004
policy governs political activity at the Department of Human Services.
The policy informs DHS employees of their rights and obligations under
the federal Hatch Act, National Voter Registration Act, Oregon State
laws, ORS 260.432 and ORS 247.208 and DHS policy. The policy outlines
obligations of DHS managers and provides resources for additional information.
primary purpose of the policy is to outline appropriate political activities
while ensuring that the work of DHS is accomplished without disruption.
The intention of the policy is to honor employee rights for political
expression, abide by the applicable law and most importantly, be respectful
of DHS clients, partners and visitors while achieving the DHS mission.
DHS Staff; additional responsibilities for DHS Managers.
Failure to Comply: Failure
to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action.
Political activities of Department employees during working hours
are limited by the Federal
Hatch Act and ORS
- Permitted Activity
- During working hours – a DHS employee
- Post appropriate political material as described
in section 5 of this policy.
- Outside of working hours - (personal
time, lunch and break periods and days off) - a DHS employee
- Express opinions on political
subjects and candidates.
- Take an active part in political management and political
- Run for public office in nonpartisan
- Prohibited activity - a DHS employee may
- Use official authority or influence to
interfere with or affect the result of an election or a nomination
- Directly or indirectly coerce or attempt
to coerce subordinates in support of a political party or
- Command or advise a state or local officer
or employee to pay, lend, or contribute anything of value
to a party, committee, organization, agency, or person for
- Be a candidate for public or political
party elective office in a partisan primary, general election
or special election. An employee under the Federal Hatch Act
who is planning to be a candidate for elective political office
must resign from state service; leave without pay will not
- Post political material in a prohibited
manner as described in section 5 of this policy.
- Voter Registration Restrictions
A person/office providing voter registration shall not:
- Seek to influence an applicant’s political
preference or party registration;
- Display any political preference or party
allegiance; including not displaying political buttons, posters
or flyers within the immediate work site, that may influence
an applicant’s political preference or party registration;
- Make any statement to an applicant or take
any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage
the applicant from registering to vote; or
- Make any statement to an applicant or take
any action the purpose or effect of which is to lead the applicant
to believe that a decision to register or not to register
has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits.
- Posting of Political Material in the Workplace
- Political materials may be posted
inside an employee’s immediate workspace as long
as members of the public do not use or view that
- Political buttons may be worn
except where prohibited by safety and health policies
such as in institutions and group homes or where
restricted by the National Voter Registration Act.
- If members of the public come into
the workspace to meet with staff (sometimes referred
to as desk side interviewing), political materials may
not be displayed.
- Materials may not be posted in areas
open or visible to the public. Examples include: reception
areas, lobbies, or any place where the public passes
by for interviews, meetings, or to fill out forms. Exception:
Bulletin boards where the Unions have been authorized
for notification to union members. Bulletin boards must
be clearly labeled as Union Bulletin Boards.
- Materials may not be posted on the
outside of cubicle walls or on office doors.
- Political buttons may not be worn
where prohibited by safety and health policies. Institutions
and group homes may have additional restrictions due
to safety concerns and issues related to patient and
- Required Posting of notices
- Oregon State law requires all state agencies
to post notices that apprise employees of their political
rights. Notices must be placed in a conspicuous place likely
to be seen by all employees. Subsection (3) of ORS 260.432.
- DHS Managers are responsible for ensuring
that such notices are posted at the worksite. (Open
and print a copy of the the notice from the Forms
- The notice, as provided in Subsection
(3) of ORS 260.432, reads as follows:
ATTENTION ALL PUBLIC EMPLOYEES:
The restrictions imposed by the law of the State of Oregon
on your political activities are that "No public employee
shall solicit any money, influence, service or other thing
of value or otherwise promote or oppose any political committee
or promote or oppose the nomination or election of a candidate,
the gathering of signatures on an initiative, referendum or
recall petition, the adoption of a measure or the recall of
a public office holder while on the job during working hours.
However, this section does not restrict the right of a public
employee to express personal political views."
It is therefore the policy of the state and your
public employer that you may engage in political activity
except to the extent prohibited by state law when on the job
during working hours.
- Resolution of Questions
- Contact the Office of Human Resources
for additional information or to resolve questions.
- Office of Human Resources will use a reasoned
approach to resolving individual disputes. Our goal is to
honor employee rights, while abiding by the Secretary of State’s
rules regarding Restrictions on Political Campaigning by Public
Employees as defined in ORS 260.432.
- See Common Terms
for department-wide support services policies
- Version 3.0:
- 10/19/2004 - Incorporated in the
policy is an additional section regarding Voter Registration
Restriction, language to clarify when an employee is
permitted to run for a non-partisan political office
and material that can be posted on Union bulletin boards.
- Version 2.0:
- 09/26/2004 - This revision of the
policy includes requirements for posting political material
in the workplace and appropriate activity during working
hours. This revision also moves the policy from the Office
of Human Resources to the Director’s Office.
- Version 1.0:
- 03/27/2002 - Initial Release under
the Office of Human Resources
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Oregon Department of Human Services
500 Summer St. NE E25, Salem, OR 97301-1098
Phone: (503) 945-5944
Fax: (503) 378-2897
TTY: (503) 947-5330