Talking Politics In The Workplace

Susan Solovic shares advice for employers
3:00 | 08/21/12

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Transcript for Talking Politics In The Workplace
We don't know about the trappings of office politics but what about politics in the office with the presidential race approaching you may find co workers speaking their mind. So is it okay to China ten or are you better off biding your time here with her thoughts as ABC news small business -- -- -- -- it. Susan is also the co-founder of it's your is dot com IC good to see you hi Tanya it's nice to be -- -- So this -- and we know a free country but are you really free to speak your mind on the presidential race. -- work Tanya my mother used to always say to me there's a time in a place for everything and the office is not the place for politics. Actually -- -- to do your work not to campaign for political candidate or a political issue. And what happens is because people have such strong feelings about politics. That it creates conflict in the office. It can also create a divisive team which is not good for business and all of that impacts your productivity which -- bottom line it can cause employee turnover. And even worse it might even cost you a customer client so it's not laugh laughing matter by any means it's like -- dinner. -- right politics and religion are not great topic other I can't say they -- As a business owner. What are some things you can do to discourage these political conversation. Well just that you need to discourage those conversations and solicitations. -- one thing that you need to and understand as a business owner is it's not just about the conflict in May be hard feelings but also some of these conversations could rise to the level of harassment. So if you think about political issues such as immigration or women's rights for example some employees may be so offended that it could rise to the occasion. To be seen as -- creating a hostile and offensive workplace which would then be harassment. The other thing you should know is political solicitations. In the workplace are illegal in some states so you certainly want to make sure that that wasn't occurring you'd also be open to liability. Right now how hard -- for instance what if someone has a bumper sticker on their car or wants to hang up a button in -- -- Well it's signage is about the same thing as having a conversation it's just not verbalize you're still clearly pointing out what your political views are. And people make judgments about you and sometimes those judgments aren't favorable if you take a certain position now when it comes -- the bumper sticker -- if it's outside the workplace probably can't do anything about that. But if -- -- an employer I would recommend that you just don't allow any political -- -- make it -- straight issued no sign it. Because not only is it an issue with the employees. But one of your customer client comes into the office they don't agree with that position and guess what. They think you -- -- endorsing that political party candidate or issue. And that's not good for business. Customers now right now they bring up customers let's that you have a cut tomorrow -- -- means only politically. And they just assume that you have the same view -- What how do you deal with the situation. Its Don't Ask Don't Tell so you don't want a course. Coworker our customer client into thinking the way you do are trying to push them the vote the way you do. And if someone tries to get that information out of you you simply need to decline either politely say I think that's personal issue I don't care to discuss it. Try to change the subject if the person is insistent upon -- that conversation further. -- you may actually wanted to be excused -- I've been in the situation -- -- -- Atlanta business lines and people put me on the spot saying season who are you going to vote for in this political. Presidential election for example. I don't think it's any of their business. Religion and politics it's personal I think it should stay that way. That's I think a very good idea but you do see somebody CEOs coming out publicly very publicly on political issues. Do you think that's good for their business. You know I can be problematic I mean all we have to do think about -- -- So. Yes I think it's problematic what you see with -- CEO of an organization whether it's small -- large. The CEO represents the brand and therefore it's implied that at the CEO is expressing his or her opinion. That is actually the opinion of the brand. And that can be hurtful as we've seen in past can be tricky iTunes all of make New York Times best seller ABC news lopuszynski Jamie thank you for joining --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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