Political Activity

»What are the guidelines regarding political activity?

Campaign Prohibitions 
While county officials and employees are not prohibited from engaging in political activity during their free time, there are restrictions as to political activity in the workplace.

 

Public (elected and appointed) officials and employees shall not engage in political activity while at work or while engaging in their official duties.  This includes: wearing or displaying campaign material, distributing campaign literature, soliciting contributions for any candidate, engaging in political campaign activities for any candidate, or circulating nomination papers for any elective office (M.C.G.O. § 9.06(1)). 

 

Examples of prohibited conduct include:

  • Wearing a button endorsing a candidate, party or position while you are at work.
  • Wearing a t-shirt endorsing a candidate, party or position while you are at work.
  • Circulating nomination papers on behalf of a candidate for office while you are at work.
  • Making telephone calls on behalf of a candidate for office while you are at work.

Furthermore, county employees may not coerce or attempt to coerce contributions or services from subordinate employees in support of a political party or candidate or with regard to a referendum position (M.C.G.O. § 9.06(2)).  County employees may not retaliate against or reward any employee for refraining from participating in political activity. 

 

In addition, county elected officials may not solicit a campaign contribution from any “at will employee,” meaning any employee who is not under a union or labor contract with the county, who is hired for an indefinite term or who is under an independent contract with the county or its subparts or who can be discharged or terminated at any time for any nondiscriminatory reason (M.C.G.O. § 9.05(2)(j)). 

 

No elected official or candidate for a county elected office shall promise an appointment to any county position as a reward for political activity (M.C.G.O. § 9.06(3)).

 

For more information about political campaigns and election laws, visit the Milwaukee County Election Commission website at: http://www.county.milwaukee.gov/CountyElectionCommis7710.htm.
 

Coercion and Solicitation 
No county employee may coerce or attempt to coerce contributions or services from subordinate employees in support of a political party or candidate for elective office, or for or against a referendum position (M.C.G.O. § 9.06(2)).  In addition, no county employee may retaliate against or reward an employee for participating in or refraining to participate in any political activity.

 

Furthermore, county elected officials are prohibited from soliciting campaign contributions from at will employees.  An “at will” employee is an employee who is not under union or labor contract with the county, who is hired for an indefinite term or who is under an independent contract with the county or its subparts or who can be discharged or terminated at any time for any nondiscriminatory reason (M.C.G.O. § 9.05(2)(j)).
 

Rewards 
County elected officials and candidates for elected office are prohibited from promising an appointment to any county position as an apparent reward for political activity (M.C.G.O. § 9.06(3)).

 

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