Before November politics in the office was taboo- if you were a die-hard liberal or conservative you tended to keep it to yourself, for fear of screwing up the atmosphere with your co-workers. Folks would have bumper stickers and yard signs supporting their favorite candidate, but as soon as they hit their cubicle or desk it all went on the back burner.
There was so much animosity during the presidential campaign it seemed like supporting one candidate or the other could get you into trouble!
With the craziness of the election behind us, politics that used to divide us have blurred into a shared anxiety about the state of our nation. What happens to office politics as the national tenor changes and more people come to the political “center”? Do conservatives run and hide now that Barack Obama is the President-elect with expanded majorities in both the House and the Senate? Should liberals flaunt their newfound majority status? Could these positions possibly threaten your job?
It's illegal for an employer to coerce employees to vote for or donate money to a particular candidate. But private employers can still hire and fire staffers at will. "The First Amendment doesn't protect you from being fired because you support Hillary Clinton or John McCain," says Dan Prywes, a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of Bryan Cave.
Getting a pink slip for supporting a different candidate than your boss is extreme, and rare. But there are benefits to having shared political views, albeit subtle ones. And sometimes, the same goes if you disagree politically.
Though it is illegal to coerce employees to vote a particular way, political alignment is not a protected status for job discrimination laws, such as age, race, or even sexual orientation. In other words, it is possible to be fired for your political beliefs.
Considering this, in the end it seems the best thing to do is to keep your political opinions to yourself; cheerleading for one candidate or the other could conceivably get you fired, or at the very least bruise some feelings and make your workplace more hostile!