Filing a Hatch Act Complaint

How to File a Complaint Alleging a Violation of the Hatch Act

OSC is also authorized to investigate violations of the Hatch Act. 5 U.S.C. § 1216 (a)(2). If OSC charges an employee with a violation of the Hatch Act, those charges are adjudicated before the Merit Systems Protection Board. 5 U.S.C. §§ 1504 – 1508; 7321 – 7326. Filers alleging a violation of the Hatch Act should use Form OSC-13 (Complaint of Possible Prohibited Political Activity) to submit their allegation to OSC. Form OSC-13 can be printed from this Web site. Filers can complete the form online or by hand after printing the form. Once the form is completed it should be mailed or faxed (202-254-3700) to OSC. Please also include any evidence supporting your allegations (for example, documents, newspaper articles, photographs, etc.).

Please be advised that if the form is not filled out completely or the allegations are insufficient, OSC will require the complaint filer to provide additional information before it investigates. Accordingly, be sure to include all of the following information in the complaint:

  • Name and contact information of person who violated the Hatch Act (“Subject”)

  • Agency and position of Subject

  • Detailed description of the alleged Hatch Act violation, including names and contact information of potential witnesses and whether, for example, the election at issue is partisan
  • (meaning the candidates are running as political party candidates)


In addition, for allegations involving a state District of Columbia, or local government employee, include:

  • Information about the federal funding the Subject’s employing agency receives

  • Description of the duties the Subject performs in connection with federal funds



Complaints should be sent to:

Hatch Act Unit
U.S. Office of Special Counsel
1730 M Street, N.W., Suite 218
Washington, DC 20036-4505.


Enforcement

After investigating an alleged Hatch Act violation, OSC may seek disciplinary action against an employee before the Merit Systems Protection Board. When violations are not sufficiently egregious to warrant prosecution, OSC may issue a warning letter to the employee involved.