Politics in the Workplace
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Maintain a conflict friendly workplace and abide by laws that may be implicated during the political season.The 2020 presidential election promises to be one for the history books as President Trump looks to serve four more years and presumptive Democratic-nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, tries to gain the necessary momentum to make Trump a one-term president. A presidential election is never dull but throw in COVID-19 and its impact on our economy and you have one exciting election season. Given the state of our union, employers across the country can expect a lot of political discussions and political actions in the workplace. This information will help you learn how to describe the rights that employees may have to discuss or engage in political activity in the workplace; identify any obligations that employers may have when political discussions implicate employees' protected classes; recognize when political discussions may qualify as protected concerted activity under the NLRA; and explain best practices for lessening the likelihood of employee conflict on polarizing political topics. Learn about other risks and best practices associated with this issue. This information is critical for employers interested in maintaining a conflict friendly workplace and abiding by laws that may be implicated during the political season.
AuthorsGregory P. Abrams, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP Kelly A. Petrocelli, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Political Beliefs and Protected Classes Under Anti-Discrimination Laws
• This Year's Presidential Race May Present Unique Challenges
• How Protected Classes May Be Implicated in a Political Campaign Year
• Associational Issues Under Title VII
Can You Limit Political Speech in the Workplace?
• No Federal Law Protecting Political Speech for Private Employers
• State Laws May Provide Some Protection or Impose Obligations on Private Employers
• Could Political Speech Be Protected Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?
• Applying the Rules in a Nondiscriminatory Fashion
Practical Considerations for Addressing Political Speech
• Working Time vs. Nonworking Time
• Jobs Which Deal With the Public
• Political Viewpoint as a Diversity Issue
• Posters, Buttons, T-Shirts and Other Forms of Political Expression
• Employee Use of Email to Promote Their Candidate or Issues