A difficult issue faced by many employers is how to address political activities and expression by employees in the workplace. Politics are often divisive and political discussions can result in tension between employees, reduced productivity and less focus on an employee’s work tasks. The questions that often arise are:
These and other questions are addressed in this chapter.
Many employees mistakenly believe the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the employee’s freedom of speech while at work. The First Amendment, however, generally applies only to government restrictions on speech, and does not apply in private workplaces. Although employees are free to express their opinions on their own time, with limited exceptions, there are no legal protections for an employee’s expression of their political beliefs in a private workplace.
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