Political Discussions in the Workplace: fun or do you need to shut them down?


When ABC excluded Carly Fiorina from Saturday night’s debate, it ignited a fierce dispute among several of our employees. The arguing broke along male and female lines, and two men made statements the women employees said “crossed the line.”

Until this happened, I had encouraged and participated in the political discussions. They were fun, as our group was almost evenly divided between Sanders, Trump, Clinton and Fiorina advocates.

Now, to make things fair, I think I need to shut all political discussions down, and I don’t know how to do that or even if I can.


Employers can regulate political speech in the workplace if it disrupts the workplace, inhibits efficiency or crosses the line into the making of discriminatory comments — such as comments about race, sex, age or religion.

By your own account, however, these discussions were fun for those involved. Be careful of taking away conversation that made the workday go faster for many employees because a couple individuals acted inappropriately. Instead, check into the accusations, assess whether they’re accurate or not, and if so, counsel the two who crossed the line. Then, challenge everyone who participates in the discussions to keep their comments respectful.


© 2020, Lynne Curry

Lynne Curry is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016) and “Solutions” (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com). Send your questions to her at lynnewriter10@gmail.com or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.

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