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Political Activity

Restrictions on political activities in the workplace


Civil Service Law § 107, Public Officers Law § 73(17), and Public Officers Law § 74 prohibit certain political activity in the workplace. In addition, the Commission’s outside activity regulations prohibit certain outside political activities.


What are the restrictions placed on political activity in the workplace?

  • A potential employee cannot be asked about their political party affiliation, regardless of whether  that applicant made any political contributions or how that applicant voted.
  • No person can use his or her official State position to coerce, intimidate or influence other State officers or employees for any political purpose, action or contribution, or interfere with any election.
  • State offices may not be used for soliciting or collecting any political contributions.
  • No State officer or employee may corruptly use or promise to use any official authority or influence in exchange for political action on another’s part.

Examples of prohibited activities in the workplace

  • Circulating a candidate's nominating petition within your office;
  • Using the computer in your office after work to produce a brochure in support of a candidate's campaign;
  • Sending e-mail invitations to campaign events to friends within the agency; and
  • Using New York State internet connections to forward e-mail messages received from a partisan campaign or someone supporting a partisan candidate.

Restrictions outside the workplace

Policy makers, heads of State agencies, and statewide elected officials are prohibited from engaging in certain outside political activities whether the person serves on an unpaid or per diem basis as specified in Part 932.4 of the Commission’s outside activity regulations.


The restrictions include serving as:
  • a member, officer, director, board member, or district leader of any party committee


Policy makers, heads of State agencies, and statewide elected officials may serve as a delegate to a state or national party convention.


Applicable Laws


    19 NYCRR Part 932 - Outside Activities

    Regulation on the approval process for State officers and employees designated as policy makers to pursue outside employment or memberships in boards and other related activities other than their full time State employment.  



Ethics Reminder

Contact The Attorney of the Day

The Commission administers an "Attorney of the Day" program to help provide State officials and employees, lobbyists, and clients of lobbyists with free, confidential advice on navigating the State's ethics and lobbying laws. 

Contact us by phone:

Hotline - Press "2" to speak to the attorney of the day 800-87-ETHICS (800-873-8442)

Contact us by email:

Mailing Address:

New York State

Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government

540 Broadway 

Albany, New York 12207