Date: November 8, 2016
The Washington Business Journal interviewed TELG managing principal R. Scott Oswald for its 2016 election-day story about political tensions in the workplace. Scott argued that employers should follow a clear, written policy on what sorts of political comments are permitted — and what sorts are not.
Consistent application of a written policy "is a recipe for a happy ... and controversy-free — at least politically controversy-free — workplace."
R. Scott Oswald
Have a divided post-election workplace? Here’s how to handle it.
And the 45th president of the United States is …
Whichever name appears at the end of this sentence won’t please everyone and is sure to upset some. But given the exceptional divisiveness of this presidential election, the backlash will perhaps be greater — and longer lasting — than in the past. For employers, experts say that can mean limiting political discussion in the workplace and, if necessary, coming up with a plan to cool down conflicts between employees.
In the District, employers walk a line between two contradictory requirements: a law that doesn’t allow discrimination based on an employee’s political affiliation, but that requires the employer act if an employee’s behavior is offensive, according to R. Scott Oswald, managing principal of The Employment Law Group P.C. Employers should therefore consider implementing and disseminating to employees a clearly written policy about what type of conversation and behavior is permitted in the workplace, Oswald said.