2020 Tennessee Code
Title 2 - Elections
Chapter 19 - Prohibited Practices
Part 2 - Offenses by Public Officers and Employees (“Little Hatch Act”)
§ 2-19-207. Political Activity Interfering With State Business

Universal Citation: TN Code § 2-19-207 (2020)
  1. It is unlawful for any person employed by the state to engage actively in a political campaign on behalf of any party, committee, organization, agency or political candidate, or to attend political meetings or rallies or to otherwise use such person's official position or employment to interfere with or affect the result of any regular or special primary election conducted within the state, or to perform political duties or functions of any kind not directly a part of such person's employment, during those hours of the day when such person is required by law or administrative regulation to be conducting the business of the state.
    1. Nothing in this section shall be construed to deprive any official or employee of the state from voting for the party or candidate of such person's choice or to deprive such person of the right to express such person's personal opinion concerning any political subject, party or candidate.
    2. Elected officials, state employees on leave or during those hours not required by law or administrative regulation to be conducting the business of the state, and persons duly qualified as candidates for public office are expressly excluded from this section.
    3. No rule or regulation which has been promulgated or shall be promulgated by any department, division, agency, or bureau of state government shall be more restrictive of the political activity of state employees on leave or during those hours not required by law or administrative regulation to be conducting the business of the state than those restrictions already set forth in this section.
    1. Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to teachers.
    2. It is unlawful for any teacher employed by an LEA during those hours of the day when the LEA requires the teacher to be performing school duties to:
      1. Engage actively in a political campaign on behalf of any party, committee, organization, or agency;
      2. Engage in a campaign for a candidate for partisan or nonpartisan public office elected by the people;
      3. Attend political meetings or rallies;
      4. Use the teacher's employment to interfere with or affect the result of any regular or special primary election conducted within the state; or
      5. Perform political campaign duties or functions.
    3. Nothing in this subsection (c) shall be construed to deprive a teacher from voting for the party or candidate of the teacher's choice or to deprive the teacher of the right to express the teacher's personal opinion concerning any political subject, party, or candidate.
    4. A teacher on leave or during those hours in which the teacher is not required to be performing school duties is not subject to the restrictions in subdivision (c)(2). No policy or rule of an LEA shall be more restrictive of the political activity of a teacher on leave or during those hours in which the teacher is not required to be performing school duties than those restrictions set forth in this subsection (c).
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