Senate Panel OKs New Hatch Act Punishments, Excess Property Bill

June 29, 2012

A Senate committee on Friday passed a bill that would provide a wider range of possible punishments for Hatch Act violators.

Federal employees who violate the Hatch Act, which restricts political activity in the federal workplace, can now only be fired or suspended for 30 days. This bill would give the Merit Systems Protection Board, which adjudicates Hatch Act complaints, more flexibility to hand out punishments that in some cases are lighter.

The bill would allow MSPB to instead issue violators formal reprimands, reduce their pay grade, debar them from federal employment for up to five years, or fine them up to $1,000. 

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