Political Talk In The Workplace Is A Potential Minefield
In the August 17 Denver Business Journal article, "Political Talk In The Workplace Is A Potential Minefield," Denver Managing Partner Todd Fredrickson discussed the risks of allowing employees to engage in political discussions in the workplace. The article noted that workers in the private sector have no First Amendment right to discuss politics at a place of business, and they can be disciplined or even fired if their discussions venture into areas such as race or religion, which are protected by anti-discrimination laws. Todd said: "Some of my clients have come to the conclusion that it's better not to let folks chat about politics because it morphs into other issues. You start talking about a candidate and it bleeds over into that candidate's religious beliefs or background. So you go from a conversation that isn't protected, and it spills over into religious or gender issues that are protected. Employers should make sure they're training their managers on the fact that this may be an issue for the next three to four months."