Support of Black Lives Matter in Federal Workplace

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General support of Black Lives Matter movement entered the federal workplace. On July 10 2020 Office of Special Counsel (OSC) guidance provides that federal employees may show support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the federal workspace without fear of committing a Hatch Act violation as the Hatch Act provides only limited restrictions on employee conduct related to nonpartisan advocacy or organizations.  The OSC officially determined BLM is largely an umbrella advocacy organization as well as nonpartisan.  Ironically, the TEA party movement seems to have paved the way for this determination.

Also of note is the seeming favorable language used to describe the BLM movement, which places the Office of Special Counsel at odds with the Trump White House concerning the official government view of and reaction to BLM.

Read the OSC Opinion

OSC BLM Opinion

What Does Support of Black Lives Matter (BLM) in the Federal Workplace Look Like?

The foregoing information should not be interpreted to mean that the federal government has expressed direct support of BLM. Instead, it means that under Hatch Act guidance, there is no express prohibition as a demonstration of support of BLM is not a “partisan political activity” in the context of the Hatch Act.


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