Ask HR: Can I Tell Employees Not to Display Political Posters in Their Cubicles?
Ask HR: Can I Tell Employees Not to Display Political Posters in Their Cubicles?

Ask HR: Can I Tell Employees Not to Display Political Posters in Their Cubicles?

Happy Leap Day! The year 2016 includes not only our first Leap Day in four years, but our first presidential election year in four years. Have your employees started engaging in political chatter at the office yet? We all know the conversation is likely to pick up as we get farther into 2016.

Politics can be divisive everywhere: with family and friends, on social media, and especially at the workplace. When it comes to such a complicated topic, how do you know what rules to set at work?

Fortunately, we've got legal experts to consult. The pros at HR Support Center have addressed at least one part of the "politics at work" question: can employees display political posters in their workspaces?

Question:

A new employee has posted political signs on the bulletin board above his desk. Can we ask the employee to remove them? Or is displaying them considered an employee right?

Answer from Aimee, HR Pro:

Thank you for your question. Generally speaking, a private employer can ask an employee to remove political signs—or otherwise limit political expression in the workplace—as long as they don't run afoul of protected Section 7 rights or applicable state laws.

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act gives employees the right to talk about the terms and conditions of their work and the right to unionize. While this law protects some political activities, it doesn’t give employees a right to display political signs at their workstations or the right to discuss, during work hours, politics that aren’t work-related.

Employers who decide to limit speech should have and follow a non-solicitation policy. It is also important to keep in mind that several states more broadly protect the political speech of employees while off duty, so employers should focus on workplace behavior and not on limiting the beliefs or protected outside activities of their employees.


Aimee, HR ProAimee is a recognized leader in the field of Human Resources. Aimee was previously the Global Director for the Board of Directors of the local chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. Previously, she was the HR Director and Global HR and Organizational Effectiveness Adviser for an international humanitarian relief and development organization, and worked as an HR consultant to small and mid-sized companies.


We have a long road ahead to November 2016. Do you have other questions about politics in the workplace? One entire year of HR Support Center is cheaper than just one hour of a typical attorney's time. Contact us to learn how you can have the power of an attorney on your side--inexpensively.


Subscribe to Our Resource Center Digest

Enter your email below to receive a weekly recap of the latest articles from Paycor's Resource Center.

Check your inbox for an email confirming your subscription. Enjoy!

More to Discover

How to Avoid Payroll Tax Penalties in 2019

How to Avoid Payroll Tax Penalties in 2019

Employment laws are getting more complex and businesses are finding it harder to remain compliant. According to the IRS, 40% of small and medium-sized businesses are fined each year for failing to meet payroll tax regulations. These organizations are at risk because they tend to run payroll through manual processes and disconnected software, leading to miscalculations, incorrect filings and late withholdings deposits. If you’re a business leader and want to avoid fines and penalties, here’s what you need to know. What Payroll Taxes Are You Required to Pay? State and federal taxes include: Federal unemployment taxes: Employers must pay this tax based on the gross pay of all employees. These taxes can either be paid quarterly or annually...

Is Your Time and Attendance Solution Delivering Results?

Is Your Time and Attendance Solution Delivering Results?

Not all time and attendance solutions are created equal. Perhaps you’re manually keeping track of time cards or your automated time and attendance system isn’t living up to your expectations. Either way, it might be time to make a change. Modern time and attendance software should deliver results—mainly savings and accuracy—for any human resources department. Accurate Time Tracking Leads To Labor Cost Savings In any organization, employees usually are both the largest expense and the largest asset. Maintaining control of labor costs is critical to the overall bottom line and it all starts with accurate time tracking. According to the American Payroll Association (APA), organizations can experience anywhere between a 1% and 7% clerical...

2019 Compliance Changes

2019 Compliance Changes

It’s critical that you’re aware of all the tax changes that could affect your organization in 2019. This session will include frequently asked questions, an overview of federal and state withholding updates and trends we are seeing in areas of Tax and ACA compliance. Speakers: Arlene Baker and James Schwantes Arlene Baker is a Senior Compliance Analyst with over 40 years of payroll and tax experience. She’s a member of the National Payroll Reporting Consortium focusing on IRS compliance, and she’s been a member of the national and local APA for 25 years. In 2003, Arlene was awarded the Ohio Payroll Professional of the Year award. James Schwantes is a Compliance Analyst with a legal and tax background. Prior to working at Paycor in the...

Proposed Department of Labor Rule to Update Regular Rate Requirements

Proposed Department of Labor Rule to Update Regular Rate Requirements

In late March, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule to clarify and update the regulations governing the regular rate requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unless exempt, an employee’s regular rate of pay is used to determine how much he or she should be paid for working overtime. The FLSA generally requires overtime pay of at least 1.5 times the regular rate for hours worked past 40 hours per week. The proposed rule details what forms of payment employers can exclude when determining an employee’s regular rate of pay. The cost of the following items would no longer apply: Tuition programs Discretionary bonuses Payment for unused paid leave Wellness programs, fitness classes, gym access, onsite...