Michael Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses the consequences of political discussion in the workplace. It is easy to laugh off your employees’ debate at the water cooler (the physical and virtual) about sports and reality television. It is far more likely that emotion and judgments will run deeper and last longer when it comes to the issues blowing in the political winds. From your company’s standpoint, political-related debate among employees has the potential of reducing productivity. But, more critically, it also serves to harbor bias and resentment that could lead to harassment and discrimination claims by your employees.
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