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HR expert says employers should 'keep the peace' as big political stories bring out big opinions

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Summary

An HR expert is warning against discussing politics in the workplace, as big stories bring out big opinions

Discussing politics in the workplace could come with consequences, an HR expert says

Whether you’re talking about the SNC-Lavalin affair or the latest goings-on with the Trump administration, discussing politics can be a dangerous game — especially at work.

Debby Careau with Inspired HR says, in general, the workplace just isn’t the right place for political debate. However, a recent survey found about three-quarters still do it.

“Half of them revealed that they’ve witnessed political conversations turn into arguments at work, which really runs into a problem of respect in the workplace, and making sure that everyone’s comfortable in their work environment. So that’s why we often say that maybe the office is not the best place to get into these debates.”

Careau says it’s important that employers keep the work environment comfortable for all workers.

“As an employer, what we say is you just want to make sure that the environment stays respectful and that if people are engaging in these conversations that they’re doing it in a way that’s not going to discriminate or offend other people in the work environment or make them uncomfortable.”

She even adds your job could be at risk, saying there have been a number of people who have lost their employment because of political discussions.

“Especially when it comes to posting strong opinions on social media or associating things with companies that are potentially defamatory or discriminating.”

Carreau says that’s because your political views could damage your employer’s reputation.