With the 2016 election season in full swing, key issues are being debated and discussed across the country. One subject that is not up for debate, however, is an employer’s obligations to its employees in relation to election-related issues.
Although election season is a good time to remind employees of policies against discriminatory and harassing behavior, employers must be careful to not limit discourse in a manner that would run afoul of employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act, which applies to both union and nonunion workplaces. And certain state laws protect employees’ rights to engage in lawful off-duty conduct, engage in political activity and related conduct. In addition, many states have laws governing Election Day time off to vote and related issues.
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