Politics in the Office—
Do’s, Don’ts, and Employer Rights in Election Years
When employees engage in political activity in the workplace, conflict will often follow. And that conflict can disrupt productivity, embarrass the employer, and even lead to lawsuits.
What restrictions can employers place on political activity by employees inside or even outside the workplace, and when do employers overstep their rights?
With the 2012 election season upon us, Human Resource managers need to be prepared to address these issues. And since relevant laws vary among the different states, the challenge is that much harder.
Sign up today for insider information about some of the most common mistakes you should watch for as an employer in a political year—and to see which ones could cost you the most in time and lawsuit risk.
- Do private-sector employees have First Amendment rights to engage in political activity in the workplace?
- To what extent can employers limit employees’ political activity in the workplace, including use of employer-owned resources (such as email systems or bulletin boards)?
- Can adverse action be taken toward employees whose political views are inconsistent with those of management?
- Do employees have the right to engage in political activity in the workplace if it involves issues relating to the terms and conditions of their employment?
- To what extent can employers limit employees’ political activities conducted at home or outside the workplace?
- Can employees be required to attend politically-oriented presentations in the workplace?
- Can rank-and-file employees be solicited by management for political contributions?
- Do employers have to provide leave for employees to vote?
Daniel I. Prywes
Mr. Prywes heads the Labor and Employment Client Service Group in the Washington, D.C. office of Bryan Cave, LLP (a national law firm with over 1,000 attorneys). He has extensive experience litigating employment disputes. He has published and lectured on issues relating to political activity in the workplace and has been widely quoted on this subject by leading media outlets. He earned his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Krishnan is an associate attorney in Bryan Cave LLP’s office in Washington, D.C., where he concentrates on litigation. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and earned his law degree at Boston College Law School.
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