The midterm elections are right around the corner, and there has been no shortage of fodder for discussion to come out of the various campaigns. I do not plan to use this blog as a platform to share my personal opinions concerning the politicians and policies making news these days. However, I do want to know if you are discussing the upcoming election in your workplace. A recent article on MSNBC’s website reminds all of us that proudly wearing our campaign buttons or talking about last night’s gubernatorial debate while in the office might not be a wise idea.
Please know that you can find yourself in trouble with the boss if you are openly vocal about politics. As Donna Ballman, an employment attorney in Florida, stated in the article, “There is no First Amendment in corporate America.” If you share an opinion that is deemed to be inappropriate or offensive to a co-worker or a client, you may find yourself explaining your words and defending your job to someone in human resources.
Just think about some of the topics that have made the news during this election cycle. It isn’t too difficult to imagine that a heated conversation could quickly develop and create some tense office dynamics. Should employers be diligent about curtailing such discussions? Or, do we need to allow open and frank talk to occur between adults, regardless of the professional environment?
If there have been any political discussions in your office recently, I would be interested in reading your thoughts on how you think such topics have affected workplace dynamics. Do you ever find yourself speaking out for your favorite candidate or cause? If so, have you experienced any fallout from your decision?