The Postal Service is in violation of The Hatch Act for allowing employees to do work for Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates during leave from the Service, the Office of Special Counsel said, Fox News reported.
The Hatch Act is a federal law that puts limitations on federal employees’ political activities.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., brought complaints by a constituent to the Office of Special Counsel in October, Fox News reported.
That constituent was a Postal Service employee, who said the agency “incurred unnecessary overtime costs” when it allowed members of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) to have “union official” leave so they could participate in the political campaigns.
The work included manning phone banks, going door to door, and other efforts to get out the vote in 2016 battleground states, mainly Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, the report said.
Adam Miles, OSC acting special counsel, said the Hatch Act prohibits the Postal Service “facilitating and directing carrier releases for the union’s political activity.”
NALC endorsed Clinton for president in the 2016 election.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday on the case.
In Miles’ prepared statement to the committee, he said the practice is “long-standing, going back many election cycles, and perhaps started in the 1990s,” the Fox News report said.
“As a federal entity, the USPS must remain politically neutral,” Miles said in his remarks, Fox News reported.
“In many localities, the Postal Service is a citizen’s primary point of contact with the federal government, reinforcing the need for strict adherence to the letter and the spirit of the Hatch Act,” Miles said in the remarks, Fox News reported.