Hootsworth’s Questions & Answers

I've witnessed someone displaying the signs of unwelcome conduct while another person leans the opposite way with frequent political jokes in a meeting. It could be construed as severe or pervasive. But since political speech is not a protected class, it's not harassment?

Answer:

Thanks for your question... political speech in most states is not a legally protected trait or characteristic - so making frequent political jokes that others find unwelcome and offensive would typically not be a legal problem, but it's still a culture and respect problem as that behavior lacks respect or sensitivity to others on the team who have a different perspective.

A culture/respect problem is still a problem and the person making frequent political jokes should be coached as to how the jokes may negatively impact others on the team.

Hope that helps.

Thumb phyllis cheng
Answered by
Phyllis Cheng
Employment Law Expert
March 6 2018
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