Election season often increases the volume and vociferousness of political conversations. Widening ideological gulfs, dissected and fueled by pundits, have made politics seem like a contact sport more than ever. While some political activities can be prohibited in the workplace, some actions are protected.
According to Vault.com’s “Politics in the Workplace Survey,” 66% of survey respondents said co-workers discussed politics in the workplace and 46% had witnessed a political argument between co-workers.
The resulting hurt feelings, resentment and anger can decrease worker productivity and raise the workplace temperature. And political disputes can cause problems at work between co-workers, between workers and managers and even between workers and visiting customers who may be offended by conversations they overhear. A spirited debate can escalate into a claim of discrimination or a hostile work environment.