October 6, 2015 •
Ask the Experts – Federal Post-Employment Restrictions
Q. We recently hired a lobbyist that is coming to our company directly from spending a number of years as a Senate staffer. What restrictions should we be aware of as her new employer in terms of who she can contact on the Hill?
A. Both the House and the Senate have post-employment restrictions for certain individuals leaving their employment on the Hill. Importantly, the House and Senate ethics committees will discuss with the staffer prior to his or her departure the restrictions under which he or she must operate. That said, as her new employer you should definitely be aware of what restrictions are applicable to her situation so neither the company nor she violates the rules.
For the Senate, senior staff (currently defined as individuals whose annual salary is $130,500 or more) are subject to a one-year, Senate-wide ban. Essentially, senior staff leaving the Senate may not lobby the entire Senate for one year following their departure – this includes lobbying contact with personal, committee, and leadership offices. Staff making less than $130,500 a year are subject to a one year ban from lobbying their particular office – whether personal, committee, or leadership office.
The House restriction for senior staff is a one year ban from lobbying the particular office for which the former staffer worked and there is no ban in the House for staffers making less than $130,500.
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