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Political expression by employees takes many
forms—from friendly office banter to shouting matches that disrupt the
workplace. Off-duty political expression can run the gamut, too, from yard
signs supporting certain causes or candidates to unlawful activity, such as
what the nation witnessed on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol building.
When can employees who've engaged in disruptive political expression be
disciplined? Employers must tread carefully, as there are constitutional
protections for public-sector employees and some state law protections for
private-sector workers. But employees who break the law, violate an employer's
policy, disrupt work or harm an employer's reputation all may be subject to
discipline, including termination, legal experts say.
Read the rest of the article:
Workers When Political Expression Goes Too Far
SHRM | Jan 2021
Questions and Answers on Employment Issues During External Protests SHRM | Jun 2020What to Do If an Employee Is Arrested
During a Protest
SHRM | Jun 2020When Employees Become Activists
SHRM | Jun 2020 Please complete the brief survey near the bottom of this page. Can Employees Be Fired for Off-Duty Conduct? Firing for Online Behavior Minding Employee Behavior Off the Clock and Off the Premises SHRM | Various datesDiscrimination Laws Regarding Off-Duty ConductNational Conference of State Legislatures Law Firm Articles Can Employers Fire Rioters? Employers’ Rights in Policing Employee Off-Duty Conduct and Employment Law Consequences of the Capitol RiotsOgletree | Jan 2021Can Employers Terminate for Off-Duty Conduct (Say, Like Storming the Capitol)?Shawe Rosenthal | Jan 2021Employers' Response to Racial Unrest Ford Harrison | Jun 2020 Political Speech, Conduct & Activity in the Workplace Amid A Social Justice Movement Bradley Arant | Jun 2020 An Employer's Guide to Navigating Offensive Off-Duty Employee Conduct Miles & Stockbridge | Jun 2020 What Can You Do About an Employee's Off-Duty Social Media Posts? Felhaber | Jun 2020 Protest Attendance and COVID-19 Concerns Employers should continue to follow their internal practices regarding screening employees for COVID-19 infection in the workplace regardless of the employee's participation in protests. Asking employees about their lawful off-duty conduct and/or denying work due to such conduct could be problematic. Instead, employers may want to give employees the ability to take paid time off or to work remotely after engaging in activities where social distancing isn't observed. Questions and Answers on Employment Issues During External Protests SHRM | Jun 2020 Employees and employers are concerned about whether those employees who are taking part in protests risk infecting their coworkers with COVID-19. Preparing For Protesters To Return To Work: Employer Do's And Don'ts Fox Rothschild | Jun 2020 Employers who choose to monitor off-duty conduct may be legally permitted to send home workers who aren't social distancing off duty, if the policy is applied consistently. However, some think this approach isn't practical and recommend alternatives. Should You Monitor Workers Who Aren't Social Distancing Off Duty? SHRM | May 2020
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