• December 17, 2017
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  • Know Your Rights


    You did not give up your basic rights the day you became a federal employee. Many rights are provided by law and additional rights have been negotiated. All are enforced for you daily by NTEU.

    Your rights, under both the law and the NTEU/agency contract, are only words on paper until you claim them, assert them, and exercise them. Exercising your rights will transform hopes and aspirations for the future into a positive action program that will make a better tomorrow for federal employees.

    You will never be alone in exercising these rights. NTEU--its members, leadership, and staff--stand with you.

    The Federal-Labor Management Relations Act defines and protects your rights. As a federal employee, you have the right to:

    • join NTEU;
    • actively participate as a member of NTEU;
    • participate in the decisions affecting your work life;
    • file grievances through your NTEU representative;
    • be guaranteed protections in exercising your rights.

    It is against the law for management to take any action against you because of your membership in, support of, or active participation in, NTEU. 

    Question and Answers

    Do you have the right to have an NTEU representative present when you are being questioned by management about potential wrongdoing? 
    YES 
    Any questioning of an employee in the bargaining unit by a representative of the agency in connection with an investigation, including Internal Security or Inspection, entitles you to have an NTEU representative present if you reasonably believe that the questioning or interview may result in disciplinary action against you and you request representation.

    Do you have the right to file grievances or complaints against the agency without fear of reprisal?

    YES 
    It is illegal for the agency to discipline or otherwise discriminate against you because you have filed a grievance, complaint, or affidavit against the agency or its representatives.

    Does the law state that the statutory protection of the right of employees to form, join, and participate in labor unions of their own choosing contributes to the effective conduct of public business?

    YES 
    In addition, Congress has found, and the law thus states, that employees’ participation in labor unions also safeguards the public interest and facilitates and encourages the amicable settlements of disputes between employees and the agency involving “conditions of employment.”

    All of the above are rights afforded to you in accordance with the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute. NTEU ensures that those rights are protected.

    Congress guarantees your right, as a federal employee, to join NTEU. Some managers may not understand the law or have no respect for it. Make it perfectly clear to them that you know what your rights are, and that you plan to assert them, immediately. Take that important first step! 

    Hatch Act Do's and Don'ts 

    Federal Employees May:

    • Register and vote as they choose
    • Assist in voter registration drives
    • Express opinions about all candidates and issues, privately and publicly
    • Run for election to a non-partisan office
    • Contribute to TEPAC or other political organizations or attend a political fundraising function
    • Sign petitions, including nomination petitions
    • Wear political badges, buttons (except in government buildings, wearing a government uniform or while on duty) 
    • Run for office within party organizations and affiliated groups
    • Attend political conventions, rallies, and meetings as an elected representative of a partisan organization
    • Take an active part in political management of campaigns
    • Solicit contributions to TEPAC from another NTEU member provided that the contributor is not a subordinate employee
    • Spouses and other members of an employee’s family may engage in all forms of partisan political activities


    Federal Employees May Not:

    • Be candidates for partisan public office
    • Use their official position to influence election results
    • Engage in political activity in government buildings or while on duty (including using government e-mail systems to distribute political messages)
    • Collect, solicit or receive contributions from the general public
    • Wear a government uniform or government insignia while engaged in political activities




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