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Dear Workforce Should Employees Be Involved in Politics?

Dear Two-Party HR:

Here is the policy on political contributions that we include in the base code that we provide to clients.

Political Activity

The company strongly supports employee involvement in the politics of their communities. We encourage and support individual activities that involve political parties, candidates, or issues.

The company will provide information on its political activities and share its viewpoint with employees, customers, and the general public. We respect anyone’s right to disagree with our official company positions regarding political preferences.

Many state laws prohibit or limit contributions by companies to political parties or candidates. Federal law prohibits contributions to candidates for federal office. With certain limitations, companies may contribute to national political parties.

Since the laws and regulations governing political activities and political contributions are complex and diverse, employees cannot make any contribution, or loan, or give other support (in the form of money or anything of value) to any political party or candidate for public office on behalf of the company without advance approval from the appropriate department(s).

Use of company resources such as a copier, phone, or fax machine to promote a candidate is considered to be a political contribution and is also prohibited. Employees are expected to follow company guidelines to avoid violating any laws and regulations concerning political activities and political contributions.

Employees must:

  • Make it clear, when expressing individual political views, that they are individual personal views and not those of the company.
  • Get approval from the appropriate department head when making contributions to political candidates in the name of the company.
  • Get approval to perform political activities on company time or to use company resources. (Resources include but are not limited to: photocopy machines, computers, and phones.)
  • Notify the appropriate person/department when making plans to campaign for, or serve in, a public office.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest when serving in public office by excusing oneself from any political matters involving the company.

We have found this to be a good balance between the right of a company to have a political position and respecting employees’ rights to their own views, but not to further those views on the company’s time or nickel.

SOURCE: David Gebler, president, Skout Group LLC,Sharon, Massachusetts

LEARN MORE: ReadIn Uneasy Times, HR Renews its Peacekeeping Mission.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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