With election season looming, Western employees are reminded of prohibitions regarding use of state resources and political campaigns.
Here are some basic rules to keep in mind:
- No state officer or state employee may use or authorize the use of facilities of an agency, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of assisting a campaign for election of a person to an office or for the promotion of or opposition to a ballot proposition. Facilities include, but are not limited to, use of WWU email, Western listservs, university stationery, postage, machines, and equipment; use of employees during working hours; vehicles; office space; publications of the agency; and clientele lists of persons served by the agency.
- While public employees do not forfeit their rights to engage in political activity because of their employment, public officials and employees need to make it clear that any participation in political activity is personal rather than officially sponsored, and must occur during non-work hours.
- Employees can wear campaign buttons to work, but they cannot affix campaign materials to university facilities.
- Agencies and institutions may discuss the impact of an initiative as it may affect the agency, but may not promote or oppose the initiative.
For more information, visit the Washington State Executive Ethics Board on this issue at: https://ethics.wa.gov/sites/westerntodayprod7x1320.wwu.edu/files/public/documents/training/2016/Ethics%2012_2016.pdf