Employees come to work to perform a job, but they also bring their social, political and personal ideologies, which they may choose to express in conversations with co-workers, on their clothing or in other ways. With the upcoming presidential election, employees may want to discuss the candidates or wear messages supporting their political party.
Here are some pointers for employers on navigating political and social expression in the workplace:
Speech on Clothing Employers can opt to permit employees to wear clothing with positive messages and still ban obscene or harassing content. To avoid monitoring political and social messaging, you may want to adopt a blanket policy — it might help create a neutral work environment.
Legal Protections Some state laws may provide protections for political expression and off-duty conduct. Employees who participate in political activities may still be subject to discipline if their conduct violates their employer’s legitimate policies.
Be Consistent Make sure all policies are clear and up-to-date and have been vetted for bias.