How to Navigate Political Speech in the Workplace
- Speaker:Dr. Susan Strauss
- Product Code:GRC-90449
HRCI Credits: 1
SHRM Credits: 1
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Political speech at work is creating more of a problem now than it did during the 2016 Presidential election!!! A new survey has found that a significantly increased percentage of employees are feeling stressed and strained because of the political speech since the campaign! Employees are feeling more cynical and negative at work due to the political talk. Employees report that the negativity and divisiveness has caused them to be less productive, interferes with them getting their work done and in gender to be angrier and to have a negative view of their colleagues. Employers are firing employees for their Facebook posts and pictures.
Let’s face it, along with religion, sex, and money, politics is one of the most contentious topics in our conversation. Do employers need to be careful of political affiliation discrimination – wait, does that even exist? What laws or regulations should employers consider in setting the tone of political discussions at work, if any? Don’t workers have freedom of speech to discuss politics as they see fit? Does freedom of speech apply in the workplace? Or, can it get you fired? What does the National Labor Review Act (NLRA) say about speech?Some political speech runs the risk of violating Title VII and other civil rights laws. Financial challenges include the risk of discrimination-Bernie was “too old” to be president, Cruz “wore his religion on his sleeve”, Trump is “narcissistic and crazy”, and Hillary is a “b----“. Is it okay for me to make those statements about these former candidates in the workplace or could it be construed as discrimination? Are you angry and wanting to revolutionize the government or are you thinking it won’t be realistic and need to approach the election with a bit more mainstream thinking? And what do your co-workers believe? Does management and the organization stay neutral in their stance or are they outspoken in expressing their viewpoints? Does it matter?
Employers need to be cautious regarding discussing politics in the workplace except in certain states. Political speech at work should fit into an organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy. Written political statements on clothing also need to be recognized in the organization’s dress code. Thirty five percent of employers openly share their political views with employees; 36% of employees discuss politics at work; Of those who did, 23% said it led to heated discussion or an argument. Only 25% of organizations have a written policy on political activities. Eighty percent of employees believe it would be illegal for their employers to terminate them for engaging in political speech at work. Is there an ethical viewpoint in speaking politics at work? If political speech isn’t handled well by the organization, it risks not only lawsuits, but absenteeism and turnover. Shouldn’t political speech be an important element of your organization’s diversity and inclusion initiative? Political speech at work is more complex than we likely have given consideration—organizations will benefit from getting a strong handle on the complexity with our contentious political divide.
Why Should Must Attend?
- To learn workers’ rights about political speech
- To know what the legal rights and responsibilities of the workplace/employer include about political speech by the organization and management
- To diminish bias and risk of liability regarding political speech.
A. What’s likely to constitute political harassment in the workplace?
- What every employer needs to know about the Federal Election Campaign Act?
- When a political non-solicitation policy can land an employer in legal battle?
- To know the Best practices for communicating a political activity policy to the workforce
- Dress code dos and don’ts as applicable per political speech—and limitations under the National Labor Relations Act.
- To discuss the first amendment and its role in controlling political speech at work
- To explore the National Labor Relations Act and how the statue applies to politically charged speech
- To interpret federal and state anti-discrimination laws and their nexus with political speech
- To list ten helpful hints in dictating political speech at work
- To identify the pros and cons of political speech at work
- To explore the consequences for employees and for organizations when political speech occurs in the workplace
- To explore the role social media plays in political speech and the workplace
- To review specific laws related to political speech inside and outside the workplace that may impact a worker’s job
- To list suggestions of items in your political speech policy.
- When it’s acceptable to discipline an employee for political-related behavior, including answers to questions such as:
B. What’s the threshold for establishing business harm on account of an employee’s political speech?
Who must attend:
This webinar is for all industries so identifying specific job titles is not realistic. That said, the following general job titles should attend:
- VP of HR
- All HR directors, managers, and generalists
- Director of Risk Management
SHRM PDCs - 1
GRCTS is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. This program is valid for [1.5] PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit www.shrmcertification.org.
HRCI CPE - 1
HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). Please make note of the activity ID number on your recertification application form. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org.
Dr. Susan Strauss is a national and international speaker, trainer and consultant. Her specialty areas include management/leadership development, organization development, communication, and harassment and bullying. She is an expert witness for discrimination and harassment lawsuits. She trains and consults with business, education, healthcare, law, and government organizations from both the public and private sector.
Dr. Strauss has authored over 30 book chapters, books, and articles in professional journals. She has been featured on 20/20, CBS Evening News, and other television and radio programs as well as interviewed for newspaper and journal articles.
She has her doctorate in organizational leadership, is a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and human services, a master’s degree in community health, and professional certificate in training and development.