A few weeks ago, a reader emailed me and asked if I would weigh in on how businesses should address employees talking about politics at work.
On the one hand, in the private sector, there are no First Amendment Rights. Free speech is a big myth. ( I suppose that the National Labor Relations Act could muddy the waters a bit; but, for this post, let’s pretend it doesn’t). And there’s practically nothing that would prevent a private employer from clamping down on employee discussions about politics at work.
On the other hand, an employer could violate bar rules and condone political speech. However, that could lead to problems for the employer, as in bad press or a lawsuit.
You folks in HR don’t have to read any further. Go do yeoman’s work today by putting the “human” in human resources. Or whatever it is you do each day.
But, the lawyers. Let’s see if I can thaw some of your icy hearts with an irresistible invitation and offer.
I received a lot of feedback on last week’s post. That was the one about an EEOC lawsuit alleging that a company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it allegedly failed to accommodate a disabled employee’s request to use a service dog.
Among the reader feedback was a question about what happens when permitting an employee to use a service dog would cause another employee’s pet allergies to flare up.
Serendipity may be one of the worst movies of all time. Of this, I am sure.
Then again, I can’t stand John Cusack movies, especially that pretentious piece of one-know-what, High Fidelity. But, I’m not writing today to bash John Cusack. And, I’m not made of stone. Hot Tub Time Machine was pretty freaking good.
Rather, I found it serendipitous that I never really talk about Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination based on sex in any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Then, you get Tuesday’s post about the similarities between Title IX and Title VII.
And, I’m gonna give you another Title VII / Title IX post today.
I received a bunch of reader emails yesterday with requests for future blog posts.
One reader requested a follow-up to yesterday’s post about service animals and the ADA, asking that I address what happens when a service animal causes allergy issues for co-workers. Another reader sought input on heated political discussions at work as a gateway to a real hostile work environment. Both good ideas; I’ll get to them.
Today, however, I want to talk about Gavin Grimm and yesterday’s announcement from the U.S. Supreme Court to send his transgender rights case back to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for further consideration in light of the guidance document issued by the Department of Education and Department of Justice on February 22, 2017.