Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Guidance spells out when and how feds can discuss the Israel-Hamas war

December 1, 2023

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Federal employees can discuss the Israel-Hamas war in the workplace and can even express their opinions on it, according to new guidance from the independent agency that oversees the law limiting civil servants’ political speech, though they still face some restrictions.

Agency workers are permitted to voice their political opinions under the Hatch Act—and protected in doing so—the Office of Special Counsel spelled out in its new guidance this week, including on the current war Israel and Hamas are waging. OSC said employees can speak out on issues, such as supporting or opposing a ceasefire, so long as they do not do so in the context of favoring or disapproving of any particular political party. They can, of course, advocate for or oppose political parties for their positions on the ceasefire so long as they are not on duty, in the workplace or acting in an official capacity.

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