Ethics Considerations, Including Outside Employment, During a Furlough

In the event of a Federal Government shutdown and employee furlough, DOI employees are reminded that they remain Federal Employees, and must continue to comply with all applicable ethics laws and regulations during any furlough period, including the Standards of Ethical Conduct, the criminal conflicts of interest statutes, and the Hatch Act.

In particular, employees are reminded that the provisions regarding outside employment and activities continue to apply. Outside work or activities are generally permitted unless they are prohibited by statute or regulation, or would conflict with the employees official duties. A DOI-wide regulation requires all employees to obtain written approval from an Ethics Official prior to working for or seeking employment with a “prohibited source” (i.e., any non-Federal person or entity who is seeking official action from DOI; does or seeks to do business with DOI; or conducts activities regulated by DOI).

Outside earned income limitations for certain political appointees (i.e., non-career SES and Executive Schedule employees) also remain in effect.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Departmental Ethics Office. Please note that most ethics officials are not “excepted employees” and may not be able to review a request or respond during a furlough. The DOI Ethics Website provides additional information on the ethics rules, including outside work and activities that apply to DOI employees.

DOI Bureaus may have Bureau-specific rules for outside employment. For example, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Geological Service (USGS) employees have further restrictions on outside employment. BLM employees may not engage in outside employment as a real estate agent or realty specialist. USGS employees must obtain approval to engage in outside work or activities (paid or unpaid) that are related to their USGS job duties or the USGS mission. For questions relating to your specific Bureau, please contact your Bureau Ethics Office.

Was this page helpful?