In Professional Roofing's August issue, the article "Politics in the Workplace," discussed why the 2016 U.S. presidential election has the potential to be one of the most controversial and troublesome elections in U.S. history. It also described the broad spectrum of issues employers can anticipate as a result of employees' political speech or activities—ranging from discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims to unfair labor practice charges to decreased employee morale and productivity. The article included five key survival strategies, including developing or updating existing workplace policies and appropriately responding to politics in the workplace issues.
The following supplements the August article with a state-by-state (and District of Columbia) guide of key politics in the workplace laws of which you should be cognizant. Act now, in consultation with legal counsel, to prepare your workplace and develop an action plan for compliance with applicable laws.
An employer may not use coercion to influence an employee's vote in an election, and it may not seek to examine an employee's ballot. Examples of coercion include threatening to discharge an employee; reducing an employee's compensation or benefits; punitively changing an employee's schedule or job description; reducing compensation; or other similar actions.