Document Type: Regulation
Revised: 06-01-13, 08-27-20
Legal References: 5 U.S.C. § 1501 et seq.
This regulation outlines parameters for engaging in political activities and applies to all city of Boise employees and volunteers. Elected city officials and appointed members of city boards and commissions can refer to the city’s Elected and Appointed Officials Handbook (coming soon) for guidance on political activities.
Nothing contained in this regulation shall be construed as denying the civil and political liberties of any person as guaranteed by the United States and Idaho Constitutions. Employees are encouraged to register and vote in elections and may choose to support or oppose a candidate or legislative action as a private citizen when off duty. Employees with questions regarding whether certain activities fall within the parameters of this regulation should contact their supervisor or Human Resources.
II. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES
Employees and volunteers shall not engage in the following activities:
A. Participate in political activities as a representative of the city or while on-duty;
B. Use city equipment, property, materials, facilities or other city resources for political activities, except as allowed by law or city policy and regulations;
C. Distribute or post political circulars or petitions on city property;
D. Collect and/or solicit campaign funds and/or the contribution of services or resources as a representative of the city, or while on duty, or on city property;
E. Use the authority of their position to influence the vote or political activities of any subordinate including, but not limited to directly or indirectly coercing, attempting to coerce, commanding, pressuring or advising an employee to pay, lend, or contribute anything of value, including their personal time, to a party, committee, organization, agency, candidate or person for political purposes;
F. Take any adverse employment action, or make any promise or threat of adverse action, against an employee because they made or withheld a political contribution or service;
G. Take any favorable employment action, or make any promise of such action, or an employee because they made a political contribution or service; and/or
H. Organize or participate in any politically motivated behavior that is disruptive to the workplace, harassing or discriminatory.
III. EMPLOYEES SEEKING PUBLIC OFFICE
Employees shall disclose their intention to run for public office to their supervisor and Human Resources at least 30 days in advance of filing and agree in writing to the following requirements:
A. Employees may disclose their current or prior affiliation with the city; however, they cannot use that affiliation in a way that suggests or implies the city’s endorsement of their candidacy or that they are speaking on behalf of the city.
B. They may request time off in accordance with the city’s leave policies.
C. If an employee is elected as Boise’s Mayor or as a member of the Boise City Council, they shall resign from their city position before taking office.
D. City employees elected to public office are required to resolve to the city’s satisfaction any conflicts of interest created as a result of the employee's campaign. Minor conflicts can be resolved if the employee discloses the conflict and removes themselves from all decision-making related to the conflict of interest. Major conflicts of interest may require the employee to resign from their city position.
IV. HATCH ACT
Employees who are covered by the Federal Hatch Act may not be a candidate for apolitical office if their wages are paid completely, directly or indirectly, by loans or grants provided by the United States or a Federal agency, but does not include:
1. An individual who exercises no functions in connection with that activity; or
2. An individual employed by an educational or research institution, establishment, agency, or system which is supported in whole or in part by a State or political subdivision thereof, or by a recognized religious, philanthropic, or cultural organization.
The Hatch Act does not apply to the mayor or other individuals holding elective office in the city.