It all depends. Some employers frown on the very idea even going so far as to include the topic in their employee handbooks. Employees counter that this is an infringement on their first amendment rights to free speech. The analogy is made concerning NFL players who kneel in protest during the national anthem in a stadium. Owners maintain they have the right to dictate behavior within the confines of the work environment. Many private employers are of the same opinion-telling employees not to partake in an ideologically centered conversation that could cause disruption in the workplace environment. Many offices have guidelines that prohibit the wearing of clothes endorsing a political party or bringing campaign literature into the workplace.
The topic has exploded like an erupting volcano since President Trump took the oath of office on January 20, 2017. Manny Medina, CEO of a software company based in Seattle says “Politics is just as important to your day-to-day activities and it’s important to us as a company and citizens. Why would you take that off the table?” In addition, businesses that attract younger workers (Millennials) maintain that this demographic prefers a workplace scenario where an exchange of political ideas is not taboo (management does not actively encourage personal discussion as it affects worker productivity).
Something Else to Consider: Employees are always advised to exercise restraint and caution when it comes to social media as content can be construed in a negative way by an employer. Some headhunters say that even when out of the office-pick and choose carefully who you are conversing with if it’s about politics-because you never know how your thoughts can change someone’s opinion of you. Another piece of advice-if the discussion is getting too heated, your best bet is to simply and politely walk away.
Source: Gary R’nel
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