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Political Expression in the Office

Go Lite When Talking Politics in the Office

I'll be hitting the polls after work today, and I usually respond openly when asked which candidate I'm voting for. My political position is of course, personal, but the question doesn't bother me, though I know some people find the question slightly invasive so I'm usually not the one asking about others' politics. The office is one place where you may want to be on guard about your politics, and the NYT has a helpful Q & A to get you through the next nine months. To read some of their tips on how to shake up a work and politics cocktail just

  • Are displays of affiliation appropriate? It depends on your employer, but generally it's a good idea to avoid visible demonstrations (like pins, bobble heads, pinned up bumper stickers) if your business deals with the public.
  • What’s the best way for employees to share political perspectives? Use common sense on this one — just be respectful. No need to create enemies by pursuing an aggressive political conversation.
  • To what extent can companies limit political expression in the workplace? Private companies have the right to prohibit political expression at the office, but government employees could be an exception.
  • Can you be fired for expressing political opinions at work? Yes, and it's happened before. If you want to express yourself ask about company policy first, or better yet save it for your personal life.


Join The Conversation
geebers geebers 9 years
tricky- I talk politics at work -but only with coworkers who have somewhat similar views as me to avoid stepping on toes. I am involved and love politics so I can't help but discuss the issues- it is part of my nature but if someone flat-out told me that they did not want to discuss the issue I would respect it regardless of how I felt.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I live in Florida and the other day someone asked out loud who won the Democrat primary vote here. I answered her, "Hillary, but it doesn't matter anyway." I turned around and saw one of my coworkers giving me the dirtiest look ever! This is a woman who has made my life hell in the past and I know she has the power to do worse damage. I quickly explained that it doesn't matter who the vote was because the DNC threw our delegates out. She apparently didn't know that. Whew. Yes, better to keep my mouth shut about politics. There's already enough "politics" at my job anyway.
x_juicyfruit x_juicyfruit 9 years
I agree, definitely. Work isn't the best place to get into a heated discussion, lol.
goesmyheart goesmyheart 9 years
I never mind who other people vote for, but I can't stand when they try to get me on their team. I feel like so many people assume what political party (or what not) I support, and most of the time they're wrong. Regardless it's a hard situation, so I try not to talk about religion and politics until I really know a person because it tends to bring up strong feelings. I definately do not want that kind of dynamic around my job.
emalove emalove 9 years
Most people that I work with share common political viewpoints, but nobody gets too in-depth when the conversation turns to politics. We all know better!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
during the last election, i asked the person next to me who she voting for .."the democrats" and i said "oh Kerry/edwards" and she said "i dont know thier names, i just always vote democrat".....thats about the extent of the brain power around here. Work really isnt the place anyway for politics, especially if people disagree it can get heated.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
However, if I worked in a non-political environment, which I did in the past, I think asking if someone voted is ok, but I wouldn't go much beyond that.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
It's so totally different in my office because I work at a lobbying firm. I couldn't imagine a day going by here without hearing and participating in multiple political discussions!
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I never speak of politics or religion in the office; those are my two big no nos; not mentioning personal life. But, people just want to know who you voted for, did you vote, and I always answer that is a personal decision-I wish not to discuss.
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
Its funny you write this, becuase as I speak there is literally someone wearing a republication button in the office today....
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
My boss always brings it up. I can't stand it. I am there to make you money, so stop asking me how I feel!
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