Talking Politics in the Workplace

Everyone is talking about the recently leaked United States Supreme Court draft opinion supposedly set to overturn Roe v. Wade. It’s all over the internet, TV news, the local paper, and, possibly, in your hallways and breakrooms.

Should you try to limit that kind of discussion among your employees? Could you, legally, even if you wanted to?

Contrary to what many of your employees might think, the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech protects individuals from retribution by the government for their speech – not from their colleague, manager, or employer. That said, some state and local laws protect employees from discrimination or retaliation based on their political beliefs or expressions, and the National Labor Relations Act – which applies to unionized and non-unionized employees – protects certain speech related to the terms and conditions of work.

So, if your employees are chatting about whether management would extend additional leave time to individuals who travel out of state to obtain an abortion, is that protected?

The answer is “it depends.” Call your employment law expert at ELS. We’re here to help!