Rules on Leaving Government Service

Overview of Post-Employment Restrictions

The Political Reform Act places several restrictions on the activities of public officials who are leaving governmental employment. After leaving a government job, state officials are restricted by both a "one-year" ban against certain types of activity, and a "permanent" ban against very specific types of activity. For certain local officials and air pollution control/air quality management district members, officers, or employees, post-employment activities are also restricted by a similar "one-year" ban. Additionally, all public officials who are anticipating leaving governmental service are restricted from attempting to influence their prospective employment opportunities while working for a government agency.


One-Year Ban:  The post-employment activities of former state officials; air pollution control/air quality management district members, officers, and employers; and local officials are restricted under respective one-year bans. While there are subtle differences between the various one-year bans, generally, the bans restrict officials, for one year after leaving governmental service, from being paid to communicate with their former agency in an attempt to influence certain actions or proceedings.

Permanent Ban: Government Code Sections 87400-87405 permanently prohibit former state officials from being paid to appear in a proceeding involving specific parties (e.g., a lawsuit, administrative law judge hearing, or a state contract) in which the official previously participated.

Ban on Influencing Prospective Employers: The Act prohibits all public officials from making, participating in making, or influencing a governmental decision that directly relates to a prospective employer.

Additional Resources

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