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Managing Political Discussions at Work

November 6, 2012

With a presidential election less than a month away, many voters are exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expressing their political opinions at work. But how outspoken should employees be in the workplace?

Few, if any, employers want to discourage political expression, yet the reality is that political disagreements often have a way of exceeding polite boundaries and can produce bruised feelings and an uncomfortable atmosphere. An inflamed argument can disrupt work flow, impede productivity and weaken team interactions. In extreme cases, it even can lead to bullying.

Although employers cannot (and should not) legislate what employees discuss, they should consider taking steps to ensure that employees remain civil and calm during discussions and everyone’s views are respected. Below are points of information and suggestions to help maintain a respectful and productive work environment without inhibiting political expression: (more…)