Political expression policies outline acceptable political discussions at work, help avoid a hostile workplace, and provide legal protection for companies. Less than 30% of employees, though, think their company should have a policy.
PRESS RELEASE – WASHINGTON — Only 41% of companies have a policy that outlines or regulates political expression in the workplace, according to a new report from Clutch, the leading B2B ratings and reviews platform.
A political expression policy serves as a reference for how employees can discuss politics at work. It can also guide companies on how to respond if employees face discomfort or discrimination.
“A political expression policy provides the framework for training and disciplinary action should things get out of hand,” said Ellen Mullarkey, vice president of Messina Staffing, a staffing agency in Chicago.
Only 27% of employees think their companies should have a political expression policy. This makes it challenging for companies to convince workers about the benefits a policy provides.
Political Expression Can Create an Uncomfortable Work Environment, Though Employees Rarely Report Political Discrimination
When employees express or discuss political views at work, it can create a tense or even hostile work environment.
Few employees, though, have experienced discomfort or discrimination because of their political views in the recent past.
Only 9% of employees have felt uncomfortable because of political discussion at work in the past week.
Similarly, only 8% of employees agree that they’ve felt singled out or discriminated against because of their political views at work in the past year.
Employees Do Not Alert Management About Political Discomfort, Which Creates Legal Risk
Employees are hesitant to alert management when they experience discomfort because of political expression.
Only 3% of employees say that they’ve considered approaching management about the political discussion at work in the last year.
When employees don’t trust management to address political expression, they may turn to legal recourse.
Political expression policies help companies avoid legal scrutiny by ensuring that they comply with labor and employment laws.
Employees appreciate the environment political expression policies promote. Nearly half of employees at companies with a political expression policy (46%) agree that their company should have a policy, compared to just 14% of employees at companies without a policy.
Some Employees Want Companies to Monitor Political Expression on Social Media, Despite Privacy Concerns
The political expression on social media creates a challenge for companies. Specifically, companies have to respect employees’ rights to express opinions through private social media channels and ensure those opinions will not create discord among other employees.
Still, 29% of employees agree that their company should clarify how employees can use social media to express political views at work. By comparison, only 27% of employees think their company should have a political expression policy.
Clutch surveyed 500 full-time employees to understand if political expression contributes to a hostile workplace.
Read the full report here: https://clutch.co/consulting/legal/resources/political-expression-policy-necessary-avoid-hostile-workplace
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