Discussing Politics in the Workplace
Mike Honeycutt, a partner in the Charlotte office, was interviewed on WBT Radio Charlotte Morning News on May 5 about political discussions in the workplace. Mike noted that a recent study showed that 80% of employees polled believed that free political speech at the office was protected. This is not true. The issue goes beyond an employee simply having differing opinions than the boss. There are discrimination laws in place that protect employees from being exposed to the beliefs of others in the workplace with regard to issues such as race, religion, sexual orientation, and national origin. Mike recommended the best way for employers to avoid legal problems that may result from political talk in the workplace is to have a policy in place that does not allow any political speech in the office at all. He suggested making the workplace a political neutral zone. This includes buttons, stickers or anything else that would indicate any type of political opinions on the part of employees or management.