Louisiana State Employees, It's Your Right to Speak Out!

Yes, as a Louisiana classified state employee, you can voice your opinion on political issues.


There are a lot of false rumors out there about the kinds of political activity you’re not allowed to do. While there are some restrictions on political activity by Louisiana classified state employees, you are still allowed to speak out – including in public – on issues of public concern. Here are some of the things you can do:

* Yes, you can vote for whoever you want.

 * Yes, you can, on your own time, contact elected officials about your position on public issues or legislation, including things that affect your job, like taxes and the state budget.

* Yes, you can, on your own time, encourage other people to speak out on public issues or legislation, including by contacting their elected officials.

* Yes, you can publicly promote your position on public issues, including by passing out leaflets, signing postcards or petitions, displaying bumper stickers or yard signs, etc.

* Yes, you can, on your own time, testify at hearings in front of the legislature or other public bodies about your opinions on public issues.

* Yes, you can even campaign on a public issue that is up for a referendum, such as a state constitutional amendment.


So what are the restrictions?


You only need to make sure that you do not publicly support or oppose a candidate for public office or a political party or faction. And you should always make sure not to speak on public issues in your “official capacity” as a state employee, but you can speak out in your capacity as an AFSCME member, a taxpayer, or as a citizen of Louisiana. This activity should only be done on your own time, while out of uniform, and without using any government resources.

This does mean that you cannot have a bumper sticker or wear a shirt for a political candidate, political party, or political faction; you can’t contribute money to a candidate or a political party or a political action committee; and you can’t even “like” a political candidate’s page on social media. But you can do all of these things for public issues or legislation if you are advocating on your own time!