Managing Political Speech and Activism: A Legal Guide for HR

"Do we really have to let our employees talk politics on the clock … or post inflammatory things on Facebook … or leave work to attend a rally?"

Political Speech

America is as hyper-polarized as it has been since the Civil War. Your employees have opinions, and they're often loud ones – even on social media. But those opinions sometimes bump up against a variety of contradictory laws related to freedom of expression, civility of discourse, retaliation, claims of "protected concerted activity" and more.

Two recent examples: An Ohio waitress was fired for refusing her boss's order to wear a pro-Trump face mask. Facebook fired an employee who used Twitter to criticize a co-worker for not supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Are those actions legal? Do you understand your organization's rights and responsibilities? And where can you draw the line on employee expression?

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On Thursday, September 24, discover the correct policies and practices you need to have in place NOW to foster a positive workplace culture and stay in compliance with all of these confusing laws. You will find out:

  • The different laws that are triggered when employees engage in political or social activity
  • The precise wording for a legally safe political-expression policy
  • Which restrictions you can put on employees' social media – and when it's legal to discipline for provocative posts
  • How to deal with the off-duty conduct laws that protect employees in more than 30 states
  • Which employee words and actions are "protected activity" under the National Labor Relations Act
  • How to communicate with employees who violate your policies
  • How to train managers to respect varying views among employees while maintaining a positive environment
  • Answers to your questions about this issue, plus MUCH more!
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The next few weeks before the election are sure to create white-hot debates in your workplace and online. While employees don't have First Amendment rights to say whatever they want in private workplaces, that doesn't mean you should (or can) put a gag order on all political discussions (whether in-person or online).

Don't wait until this becomes a problem in your workplace to find out what to do.

On September 24, discover how to create policies and practices that allow free speech but also minimize distractions and maintain order among your employees.



Pat DiDomenico, Editorial Director
The HR Law Weekly

book coversP.S. Early Registration Bonuses. The first 50 people to sign up will receive a copy of The Book of Company Policies, our 100+ page special report that offers expert guidance on the policies you need, how to write them and the sample policies that you can implement today. Plus, you'll receive You're Not the Boss of Me!, a 26-page report that gives practical advice on how to legally address the most troubling categories of at-work and off-premises conduct.

The HR Law Weekly newsletterP.P.S. Extra Added Bonus. You'll also receive 5 issues of The HR Law Weekly newsletter. Every Wednesday, our team of attorneys and HR pros reviews the latest case law and regulations that may impact you. We'll also show you how to "lawsuit-proof" your HR practices – from avoiding handbook mistakes to training managers on hiring and firing the right way, and much more. To make sure you continue to benefit from this advice, we'll keep The HR Law Weekly coming for just $79/quarter until you tell us "no, thanks."

100% GuaranteeP.P.P.S. We promise you'll be satisfied. If Managing Political Speech and Activism fails to meet your needs in any way, we will refund 100% of your tuition – no hassles, no questions asked. Your conference materials, 5 issues of The HR Law Weekly and early registration bonuses are yours to keep.

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About Your Speaker:


Andrew Metcalf is an employment law attorney in the St. Louis office of Ogletree Deakins, an international labor and employment firm. He represents businesses and public organizations in all aspects of employment law – including both litigation and HR counseling – on issues such as discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and the FMLA and FLSA. He is a popular speaker and author to business groups on workplace best practices.

Credit Hours:

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The use of this official seal confirms that this Activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.


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This program is valid for 1.25 PDCs for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®.



  • Thursday, September 24th
  • 1 - 2:15 p.m. ET
  • 10 - 11:15 a.m. PT

Since this is a webinar, you and your entire staff can attend in the comfort of your office or conference room for one low price! You may include as many people as you wish while listening on a single phone line or computer. Contact us for multi-site discounts.