Many Americans exercise their first amendment right to free speech, and
believe that this right covers them from punitive action at work. The
first amendment, however, only protects citizens from government action,
not action but companies or corporations. California does have laws in
place to protect workers from discrimination due to their political affiliations
and activities. Learn more about your rights and protections for expressing
your political beliefs at work.
Political Activities and Affiliations in the Workplace
California protects workers from discriminatory treatment by their employers
due to their political views, but there are exceptions. If you participate
in a political activity that conflicts with your employer’s business
model, you may risk your job. You also may not pursue political activity
at work if the activity interferes with your productivity there. Your
employer is well within their rights to fire or demote you if this occurs.
You are protected by state and federal laws if you discuss labor issues,
such as wages, working conditions, or expressing your preference for certain
candidates who support labor issues. Even in a non-union workplace, you
are permitted to exchange information and opinions with your coworkers
on labor issues. Your employer may not
retaliate against these exchanges.
It is legal for you to express your political opinions in the workplace,
but your employer may not control your political activities or affiliations.
If your supervisor threatens termination or demotion if you fail to engage
in certain political activities or actions, they are behaving unlawfully.
Your employer may not interfere with your political actions.
Political Activities and Affiliations Out of Workplaces
Your political activities and opinions are your own, and cannot be controlled
when you are off the clock. Your employer is barred from enforcing any
rule, regulation, of policy that hinders your right to run for public
office or participate in political activities outside of working hours,
according to California law. While they cannot prevent you from pursuing
political office or activities, your employer may fire you if this activity
affects your performance at work.
As an employee, you have certain protections from discrimination by your
employer, but you do not have complete protection. Ensure that your activities
don’t interfere with your productivity or ability to work, so your
employer doesn’t have grounds to punish you for your political beliefs.
If your employer or supervisor threatens punishment for expressing your
beliefs or participating in politics, contact an experienced employment
law attorney. They can help you determine if the threats or actions of
your employer are illegal, and defend your rights.
If you have faced discrimination, demotion, or termination as a result
of your political beliefs, contact
Marder Employment Law today. Our firm is devoted to protecting the rights of workers and we
will fight tirelessly for your case. Our Hollister employment law lawyer,
Bill Marder, has over 20 years of experience defending employees from discrimination.
Contact Marder Employment Law to schedule a
free initial consultation.