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Politics At Work: The Impact Of New SCOTUS Ruling—And How To Manage Politically-Charged Workplace Activity This Election Season

About This Course:
The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) just handed down a ruling that will have an immense impact on public employers concerning political speech in the workplace. This is evidenced by the employee in the case, a detective for a New Jersey-based police department who was demoted after being observed holding a sign that supported the mayor’s opponent, and didn’t even say “a word” of political speech.

And, it’s not just public employers that should be concerned about the legal risks of barring political talk or disciplining employees for engaging in political behavior.

There are a host of legal concerns for public and private employers, and with the fight for delegates on the Democratic and Republican side of the aisle heating up in the race to nominate which candidates will appear on the general election ballot, now is the time to get up to speed what employers can and can’t do, to manage political discussions, support, and fundraising, especially in the workplace.

Learning Objectives
  • The practical impact of the new SCOTUS ruling in Heffernan v. City of Paterson
  • What every employer needs to know about the Federal Election Campaign Act
  • When a political non-solicitation policy can land an employer in legal hot water
  • Best practices for communicating a political activity policy to the workforce
  • Dress code do’s and don’ts as they apply to political speech—and limitations on what you can and can’t do under the National Labor Relations Act
  • When it’s acceptable to discipline an employee for political-related behavior, including answers to questions such as:
    • What’s likely to constitute political harassment in the workplace?
    • What’s the threshold for establishing business harm on account of an employee’s political speech?
About Your Presenter

Susan Schoenfeld, JD
Senior Legal Editor

Susan Schoenfeld, JD, has practiced in the area of employment litigation and counseling, covering topics such as disability discrimination, wrongful discharge, and sexual harassment. She provided training and counseling to corporate clients and litigated cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals, state court, and at the U.S. Department of Labor. Prior to private practice, Ms. Schoenfeld was an attorney with the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in Washington, D.C., where she advised federal agencies, drafted regulations, conducted inspector training courses, and litigated cases for DOL. Ms. Schoenfeld received her undergraduate degree, cum laude, with honors, from Union College, and her law degree from the National Law Center at George Washington University.
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