Top 8 Employer Do's and Don'ts for 2008: Why Discussing Politics in the Workplace is Just, Well, Bad Politics
The diversity of the candidates and emotion behind many of the issues up for vote makes this election particularly sensitive in the workplace. This creates a highly-charged environment in which discussions that may be mistaken for free speech under the First Amendment can actually open up a Pandora's box of legal concerns. Based on professional experience as a nationally-recognized labor and employment lawyer, here are the top eight "do's and don'ts" every employer must know in 2008, including:
- DO Evaluate Motives
- DO Remain Neutral and Comply with State Laws
- DO Ensure Policies are Objectively Developed and Enforced
- DO Monitor Political Discussion
- DON'T Push Political Agendas
- DON'T Criticize, Joke or Jab
- DON'T Solicit Funds
- DON'T Gloat
The first step to avoiding the potential repercussions of political discussions at work is to become educated about the difference between free expression and harassment, in addition to staying informed on the latest labor and employment news and developments.
This article appeared in the February 7, 2008 issue of L.A. Watts Times.