In our article last week about Working While Republican (Click here to read) , we pointed out the lack of legal workplace protection for outside-of-work political speech and activity. But how real is the career risk?
If your workplace is a University, the risk to your career is evident in some recently publicized statistics and hiring practices. As reported by National Review in April 2016 “Yes Universities Discriminate Against Conservatives”:
“According to data compiled by the Higher Education Research Institute, only 12% of university faculty identify as politically right of center, and these are mainly professors in schools of engineering and other professional schools. Only 5% of professors in the humanities and social-science departments so identify. A comprehensive study by James Lindgren of Northwestern University Law School shows that in a country fairly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, only 13% of law professors identify as Republican. And a recent study by Jonathan Haidt of New York University showed that 96% of social psychologists identify as left of center, 3.7% as centrist/moderate and only 0.03% as right of center.”
And a May 2016 NY Times editorial headlined “Confessions of Liberal Intolerance”
included some specific examples and countered with this:
“It’s also liberal poppycock that there aren’t smart conservatives or evangelicals. Richard Posner is a more-or-less conservative who is the most cited legal scholar of all time. With her experience and intellect, Condoleezza Rice would enhance any political science department. Francis Collins is an evangelical Christian and famed geneticist who has led the Human Genome Project and the National Institutes of Health. And if you’re saying that conservatives may be tolerable, but evangelical Christians aren’t — well, are you really saying you would have discriminated against the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.?
Jonathan Haidt, a centrist social psychologist at New York University, cites data suggesting that the share of conservatives in academia has plunged, and he has started a website, Heterodox Academy, to champion ideological diversity on campuses.”
You can read more details about the legal ins & outs of political conversation in the workplace from the viewpoint of employer policy in this older 2011 article, “Hey Take it Outside: Politics in the Workplace”
Have you experienced workplace intolerance for your political views? Are Liberals speaking openly while you remain quiet to preserve workplace peace (and your job)? If you are employed by the government, are you able to voice your Republican views? Do you have a good push-back strategy to share? Tell us your experiences (email firstname.lastname@example.org ) and we’ll include them (anonymously if you prefer) in future discussions about Working While Republican.