How to temper political discourse in your workplace

Although consumers increasingly seek issues-based stands from the businesses they patronize, your internal culture might benefit from curtailing—or eliminating—talk of politics on the job.

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Our society is increasingly polarized politically.

This is not new in U.S. history. In 1856, Sen. Charles Sumner gave a two-day oration in which he called a pro-slavery senator an “imbecile.” Two days after that, a congressman (a cousin of the South Carolina senator) came up behind Sumner while he was at his desk and beat him over the head with a cane. Although he continued to hold his office afterward, Sumner was physically out of commission for several years.

Most modern disagreements don’t reach that level of hostility, but that doesn’t mean things are good. Today’s employers should create boundaries for employees wishing to talk politics at work.

Unless they work for a public employer, employees do not have a First Amendment right to discuss whatever they want in the workplace. So, as the 2020 election draws nigh, here are some tips for keeping political discussions in the workplace under control:

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