A friend works for a DC-area medical non-profit, and feels political harassment creates a hostile work environment:
- I was filing in the hallway while some managers talked about the VP debate. One complained about Palin’s wink, and said she would not be a good president. I chimed in saying I only watched the second half but thought the winking was cute and that I like capable women in leadership. One said "You can’t vote, right?" I said I was a green card holder. "Oh good, we wouldn’t want you to vote." Shortly after, my peers and managers at the weekly work social were told that I am a supporter of Republicans and that they are glad I cannot vote as I would vote for a stupid, uneducated woman because she is cute and winks.
Once upon a time most any work harassment was fair game – if you didn’t like it you were supposed to find another job. Then we made rules against harassing people for a few things, like gender, race or religion. But apparently harassing people at work for their politics is still fair game. Compared to the current regime, I can better appreciate either the previous anything-goes regime, or an always-nice regime where no one may be harassed at work for any non-work-related issue. But what is the point allowing some but not other kinds of non-work-related harassment at work?