You Can Use Government Property To Distribute Information on Legislative Issues.

You can use government equipment such as mail delivery, e-mail, interoffice phones or other communication systems to advise employees of legislative issues so long as the communication does not ask employees to contact their legislators. For example, you could discuss or distribute:

  • AFGE's position on legislation
  • The contents of specific legislative proposals
  • When Congress will write (mark-up) a legislative proposal
  • When Congress may vote on specific legislation
  • AFGE Week in Review
  • Issue flyers that do not ask the reader to contact their lawmaker

But, you can not use agency e-mail, mail delivery or other communication systems and equipment to ask union members to contact a member of Congress. There is a clear difference between information/education activities and asking an employee to contact their lawmaker. You can never use their government email or government phone to lobby a legislator. But you can use those systems to provide information. Any action alert or email asking for lawmaker contact sent from the AFGE National Office will include the following warning from the AFGE General Counsel's Office:

IMPORTANT: This information should not be downloaded using government equipment, read during duty time or sent to others using government equipment, because it suggests action to be taken in support of or against legislation. Do not use a government phone to call lawmakers on this issue.

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