NASA worker suspended for political e-mails, posts

US Hatch Act prevents dissemination of political issues while on the job

A NASA employee recently learned the hard way that federal workers can get into legal hot water if they blog or send e-mails about political issues while on the job. And others on the government's payroll may soon learn similar lessons.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) said May 21 that the unidentified NASA employee had been suspended without pay for 180 days for violating the Hatch Act, which requires government workers to keep their jobs and political activities separate from one another.

The suspension took effect March 30 after the OSC found that the employee, a midlevel worker at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, had written numerous political blog posts at work. He also had solicited political contributions via blog posts and used his NASA e-mail account to send out partisan e-mails, according to the OSC.

A spokesman for the OSC said it is investigating a lot of similar cases at other agencies.

In the past, Hatch Act violations often involved federal workers wearing campaign buttons in the office, special counsel Scott Bloch said in a statement. But now, he added, technology multiplies the opportunities for employees to abuse their positions.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Patrick Thibodeau

Computerworld

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?