Political Activities: An Election Year Reminder

In light of upcoming elections, the Office of Human Resources sends a friendly reminder regarding election activity in the workplace.

Oregon law prohibits the use of public funds, equipment, and supplies to advocate for or against a ballot measure or candidate and restricts what public employees (which include University of Oregon employees) may do in support of or opposition to a ballot measure or candidate.

Public employees on their work time may NOT:

  • collect funds, distribute campaign materials, or prepare correspondence on behalf of a political committee, ballot measure, or candidate;
  • produce, copy, or distribute documents that advocate for or against a ballot measure or a candidate;
  • post website information, transmit emails, or make a presentation that advocates for or against a ballot measure or candidate;
  • make outgoing calls to schedule or organize campaign events or other activity that advocates for or against a ballot measure or candidate;
  • encourage others to volunteer for a partisan political committee or efforts related to a candidate or ballot measure;
  • place posters that advocate for or against a ballot measure or candidate in a public work space or facing out on doors or windows;
  • distribute flyers that advocate for or against a ballot measure or candidate.

Public employees MAY:

  • engage in non-partisan activities that promote political participation, such as voter registration drives;
  • express their views on issues facing our community that are not on the ballot;
  • use personal time, lunch hours, breaks, and days off for partisan political activity;
  • express personal political views;
  • wear campaign buttons at work;
  • provide balanced, objective information on ballot measures;
  • impartially advise other public employees about possible effects of a ballot measure;
  • use personal time and personal equipment to write letters in their personal capacity expressing an opinion on a ballot measure or candidate.

Refer to university policy is available on the Political Activities Notice webpage in the HR website.  For further clarification or questions, please contact HR at 541-346-3159.