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Employers May Not Prevent Employees from Participating in Politics

With the 2014 primary election in the air, it seems appropriate to highlight the law in California regarding employees’ rights with respect to political activity.  Under California law it is unlawful to fire an employee because she or he has donated money to or otherwise supported a political campaign. This rule is set forth in Labor Code sections 1101-1102:

§ 1101.  Political activities of employees; prohibition of prevention or control by employer

No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy:

(a)     Forbidding or preventing employees from engaging or participating in politics or from becoming candidates for public office.

(b)    Controlling or directing, or tending to control or direct the political activities or affiliations of employees.

§ 1102. Coercion or influence of political activities

No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence has employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.

Also, pursuant to any action relating to the above noted laws, employers are responsible for the acts of their managers, officers, agents, and employees.