As we approach the political campaign season, I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of our policy regarding political activity at work. Chapter Two, Section VI of the City of Hampton Personnel Policies Manual states that “An employee shall not directly or indirectly use or seek to use the authority or influence of the position/job to control or modify the political action of others. An employee shall not engage in political activity during duty hours.”
For the purposes of this policy, the term “political activities” includes, but is not limited to: voting; registering to vote; soliciting votes or endorsements on behalf of a political candidate or political campaign; expressing opinions, privately or publicly, in person or online, on political subjects and candidates; displaying a political picture, sign, sticker, badge or button; participating in the activities of, or contributing financially to, a political party, candidate or campaign or an organization that supports a political candidate or campaign; attending or participating in a political convention, caucus, rally, or other political gathering; initiating, circulating or signing a political petition; engaging in fund-raising activities for any political party, candidate or campaign; acting as a recorder, watcher, challenger or similar officer at the polls on behalf of a political party, candidate or campaign; using social media to inform the public about campaign activities or in support of a candidate, campaign, political party or any organization that supports a political candidate or campaign; or becoming a political candidate. Employees may request annual leave to participate in such activities outside of duty hours.
City employees have a right to actively participate in political activity, however as referenced by the Policy above, employees are prohibited from such activities during duty hours, except that personnel scheduled to work on a day when local, state or federal elections are being held shall be allowed reasonable time off while on duty to conduct voting. Employees working as appointed officers of election are not required to use leave but must provide reasonable notice to their supervisor that they will be absent from work.
Nicole M. Clark, MSHRM, SPHR, IPMA-CP, SHRM-SCPDirector of Human Resources