Being a University employee does not mean you lose your constitutional rights to participate in the political process; however, you must be aware of the regulations involving political activity. This page summarizes the laws and policies surrounding political activities of employees.
- No employee may engage in political activity while on duty. Political activity includes any action directed toward the success or failure of a candidate, political party, or partisan political group. This includes campaigning and/or taking an active part in managing a campaign. N.C.G.S. §126-13; State Human Resources Policy (Section 3, pages 26 and 35); Section 300.5.1 of the UNC Policy Manual.
- Due to potential conflicts of interest or time, all EHRA employees (Faculty and EHRA Non-Faculty) becoming candidates for or holding political offices must make certain disclosures and receive various approvals. Prospective candidates or office holders for some political offices must use the form or format prescribed by the President to petition the Board of Governors or the board of trustees for approval in advance; failure to do so may result in loss of University employment. Sections 300.5.1 and 300.5.2 of the UNC Policy Manual.
- Community service leave may be used only for working inside a polling facility in a non-partisan, unpaid role, such as assisting voters with the voting process. If an employee is receiving any payment for such activities or is standing outside the polling facility to distribute candidate information, then vacation/bonus leave or available comp time must be used. N.C.G.S. §126-13;
State Human Resources Policy (Section 5, pages 17; 18.1).
- Voting is not allowed as work time. Management may allow employees to use available vacation/bonus leave or comp time for hours missed during the employee’s regular work schedule for voting purposes. State Human Resources Policy (Section 5, page 17).
- In general, no employee may use an employment position to secure support for, or to oppose, any candidate or issue in an election involving candidates for office or party nominations. In addition, no individual or group may use state or University funds, services (including mail and email service), supplies (including letterhead and postage), equipment (including telephones, computers, photocopiers, and fax machines), vehicles, or other University property to secure support for, or to oppose, any person or issue in any election. This prohibition applies equally to University faculty, staff and students, and to individuals external to the University. N.C.G.S. §126-13; Section 300.5.1 of the UNC Policy Manual.
- No employee may coerce an employee or applicant to support or contribute to a political candidate, political committee, or political party or to change the party designation of their voter
registration. N.C.G.S. §126-14.
- No EHRA employee (Faculty and EHRA Non-Faculty) may promise preferential treatment (or actually confer such preference) or threaten detrimental treatment (or actually impose such detriment) to any person to induce support for, or opposition to, a candidate, political office, or partisan political group. Section 300.5.1 of the UNC Policy Manual.
If you have questions regarding political activity, please contact the Office of Legal Affairs.