Office of Ethics
United States Department of Agriculture

Special Note on the Honoraria Ban & Statutory Prohibitions

On February 22, 1995, the Supreme Court issued a decision declaring the Honoraria Ban unconstitutional for Federal employees graded GS-15 and below. Later, on February 26, 1996, the Department of Justice, determined that prohibitions of the Honoraria Ban could not be enforced against any employee. (This means that all employees may accept honoraria for outside activities that are not related to their Government work.) Regardless of the sunset of the Honoraria Ban, two statutory prohibitions remain:

  • All Federal employees are prohibited from accepting compensation from outside sources for services as employees of the Executive Branch of the Federal government.

  • Except in very specific instances, Federal employees are prohibited from receiving compensation for teaching, speaking or writing that relates to their official duties.