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.
If national origin motivates an employment decision, that’s disparate treatment. Title VII forbids disparate treatment.
So, what if…
- nepotism motivates an employment decision, which
- involves favoring one nationality over another, then
- does national origin motivate the employment decision?
Or, put another way: could nepotism violate Title VII?
Last week, I highlighted an often overlooked EEOC enforcement effort: protecting vulnerable workers. Shortly after my post, the EEOC continued its efforts to support vulnerable workers by issuing this statement to address workplace discrimination against individuals who are, or are perceived to be, Muslim or Middle Eastern.
Good on ya, EEOC.