§ 153A‑99.  County employee political activity.

(a) Purpose.  The purpose of this section is to ensure that county employees are not subjected to political or partisan coercion while performing their job duties, to ensure that employees are not restricted from political activities while off duty, and to ensure that public funds are not used for political or partisan activities.

It is not the purpose of this section to allow infringement upon the rights of employees to engage in free speech and free association.  Every county employee has a civic responsibility to support good government by every available means and in every appropriate manner.  Employees shall not be restricted from affiliating with civic organizations of a partisan or political nature, nor shall employees, while off duty, be restricted from attending political meetings, or advocating and supporting the principles or policies of civic or political organizations, or supporting partisan or nonpartisan candidates of their choice in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the State and the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

(b) Definitions.  For the purposes of this section:

(1) "County employee" or "employee" means any person employed by a county or any department or program thereof that is supported, in whole or in part, by county funds;

(2) "On duty" means that time period when an employee is engaged in the duties of his or her employment; and

(3) "Workplace" means any place where an employee engages in his or her job duties.

(c) No employee while on duty or in the workplace may:

(1) Use his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or nomination for political office; or

(2) Coerce, solicit, or compel contributions for political or partisan purposes by another employee.

(d) No employee may be required as a duty or condition of employment, promotion, or tenure of office to contribute funds for political or partisan purposes.

(e) No employee may use county funds, supplies, or equipment for partisan purposes, or for political purposes except where such political uses are otherwise permitted by law.

(f) To the extent that this section conflicts with the provisions of any local act, local ordinance, resolution, or policy, this section prevails to the extent of the conflict. (1991, c. 619, s. 1; 1993, c. 298, s. 1.)