Should Employers allow political exchanges in the workplace?

Should employers allow people in their place of work to have political exchanges? This could mean: tacking rally signs of your candidate all over your cube? Posters in the lunchroom? Your boss asking you who you are going to vote for - is that appropriate? If you are of a different opinion than your boss will she treat you differently? What about coworkers - political debates can get heated - should they be able to even converse about it while on the clock?

I say no political speak while on the clock. Work envions are professional ones whether you work at Subway or on Walll Street [don’t know which I would prefer today] political views need to stay out. Friendships and coworker relations can get strained if youcome back to work Wednesday morning having voted for the loser…

Are you suggesting legislation to this effect?

No, philosophically speaking.

I can see banning it in places where it could effect interaction with customers/clients/suppliers/etc, and discouraging it rather strongly everywhere else. But I wouldn’t make it punishable in the second case; just frown sternly and suggest they consider stopping before they piss somebody off.

(Not that I will ever be in a position of authority to dictate such things or make stern looks.)

Ok, thanks. I would not have been in favor of any kind of law that prohibited political speech at your place of employment.

I think the employer can prohibit political posters, and stuff, as that is not what he (she) is paying you for.

Otherwise, on a practical level, I think it’s up to each person to decide for themselves on whether or not to engage in political debate at work.

I work in a small office with two other dudes. We have know each other for five years, now, and we can have these type of discussions without acrimony. (We are all the same “rank” in the corporate organisation. The bottom.) We do not display any political banners or posters in our workplace, though. That is not allowed by the employer.

I don’t feel anyone should feel pressured to discuss things, either.

Recently I found out we’re not supposed to discuss religion at work. I do it anyway. Let them fire me. I would feel the same way about this, if anyone told me to not talk politics.

So I suppose businesses cannot plan ahead based on how they think politics is going, or only upper level management can talk politics, or…?

New employee manual: “We don’t allow politics at work. If you have a political bumper sticker on your car, you’ll have to park somewhere else.”

I vote ‘no’ for your proposal.

Once a year we are required to spend several hours online learning and then taking tests on workplace behavior.
Politics and religion are no-no’s. Don’t push either of 'em at the workplace. If you want to politic and witness on your own time, then that’s your choice.

There’s the problem right there. What if upper level management is cramming politics down your throat? Would you care? Let’s say you support Obama, and you had a supervisor or manager who wore his/her ‘I love McCain’ pin everyday and who constantly tryed to intimidate you into voting for their candidate - it wouldn’t make for a very healthy work environment. Of course some of us would say f-u or get bent, but there are quite a few people out there who cannot afford to lose their job and who may not have the constitution to stand up for themselves. It happens…

I would say that politics, at least overt displays, should be kept out of areas commonly frequented by customers, clients, or outside business partners.

In my (hypothetical company), any displays beyond bumper-sticker size would not be allowed, and employees would be strongly discouraged from witnessing for their party or candidate. Any and all supervisors would be forbidden to ask a subordinate who they are voting for or make any sort of display that would make it look like “the company” wants you to vote a certain way.

But two co-workers having a conversation in the break room or while they are making copies? Have at it.

I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule. It depends on the workplace and the relationships between the employees there. We talk about politics all the time in my office, and it’s never been a problem, I know.

I would think a sign or smaller would be appropriate, but no witnessing, and no association between your employer and any specific stance. If I can have pictures of my friends and a Giants schedule on my wall, I don’t see why I couldn’t have an Obama sign (or crucifix for that matter), as long as I don’t try to steer conversations to it.

Nope. It’s distracting.

Our CEO is a hardcore anti-Republican, our CFO is a backwoods PA Republican. One time the three of us were driving back from somewhere, and I listened to the CEO going on and on in the starkest terms about republicans, conservatives, religion, etc. I was uncomfortable on the CFO’s part, who said nothing, even though I am well aware of her views on all these matters. So, yeah, it definitely happens. But the only reason I am aware of the CFO’s views on these matters is because we’ve had such pleasant discussions. I wouldn’t care to toss the latter over fear of the former.

I’ve always just avoided discussions of politics, religion and sex at work. It’s just not worth it.

Just a couple of weeks ago we recieved an official reminder of policy in email.

Up to religious symbols are personal preference. Ribbons etc. are company initiative or recognition type things and are optional(usually) to wear. Never anything political.

I am strongly opposed to this idea that we have to strip ourselves of any unique or identifying features when beginning work. Work is depressing enough. Do we really have to cut out one of the more interesting parts of our society? I’m much happier with a work place that respects my basic humanity, which includes the fact that I may have political views.

One reason I am self employed right now.

You’d hate my workplace - I’m not even allowed to make my cubicle a completely horrific unnavigatable junkpile, which is a tremendous denial of my natural tendencies.

I get shit about it from my employer from time to time. They are welcome to fire me any time they think I am more of a liability then an asset, that’s just what “at will” employment means for both of us. The only power you really have is to say “no” and accept the consequences. Everything else is just window dressing.

[/drunken post which I may disown tomorrow, but probably won’t.]

A bad idea. Keep the campaign out of the office. It’s easy enough to become annoyed at others when working in a confined environment.