Can you sue for political harassment at your job?
Can you sue for political harassment at your job?
Your personal coach and trusted attorney Andrew Lieb. We'll help you get started in building your real estate empire. Grow your self confidence. Find your grit and get the skills needed to dominate the real estate world. This is real estate investing with Andrew Lieb.
Andrew Lieb (27s):
I can't believe that there's a difference between absentee ballots and mail and voting. The Trump told me there was a difference in Perry tells me there's no difference. And we've been fighting about this, the whole break. I got my man Morty Yankovich on the line and Morty is an employment lawyer, but more you were telling me about your grandma getting voting. Tell me about this.
Mordy Yankovich (49s):
So my grandma bless her soul. Who's been passed away around 15 years ago. Still is on the, on the voting rolls in New Jersey. So if someone wants to say they're a risk of Gruber, they can go and vote in New Jersey.
Andrew Lieb (1m 6s):
So does this get affected? Are you worried about, does your mom male in her vote? Like, is your mom going to go to jail? Do we need to get our criminal defense attorney?
Mordy Yankovich (1m 12s):
No, no, no, no. My, my, my mother.
Andrew Lieb (1m 16s):
Okay. So and so how does this, how is this relevant? Do you agree with Trump? Do you think? Because I wondering if you told me your opinion, because you work with me, can I fire you for your opinion? I want to know, because I want to hear your opinion. I'm going to set you up and I'm going to say, Marty, what do you think about this? And then you're going to tell me, and I'm going to say, you're an idiot. I don't like your politics. You're fired. This is an issue that's going on across America today, where there's people, Lauren, everywhere that are afraid to say their opinion and this gal, Emily Ekins. She writes in the Cato Institute survey. She writes this.
Andrew Lieb (1m 46s):
I want to, I want to tell you, 62% of Americans say they have political views. They're afraid to share. And what I want to know are they right to be afraid? Because if you say this at your job, are you going to get fired Morty? And you're the employment expert. So I can't believe you were starting to tell me about riff cone. What's going on. I might've fired you.
Mordy Yankovich (2m 7s):
Well, if I'm a private sector employee, and you're a private sector employer, which means non-governmental employer, employee, just because you can fire somebody, if you don't agree with their political beliefs,
Andrew Lieb (2m 21s):
Stop there. I just want to make sure I heard you carefully. I'm an employer. You're an employee. If I don't agree with your politics, I can fire you. You cannot Sue me. There are no damages. Haha. Haha. Am I correct?
Mordy Yankovich (2m 35s):
Yeah. Without more. Yes.
Andrew Lieb (2m 38s):
Okay. So I'm a hiring manager. Can I put on my job post when I'm on indeed, that part of the job requirements is that I want a Democrat or Republican or libertarian or green party continent. You can't forget the green party candidate. Can we put that as part of the job description more? This is a great question on our application, Democrat Republican. If they write down the wrong one, can we not hire them? Is that legal? You said public. In a note, you said private in a private job.
Mordy Yankovich (3m 10s):
Technically you can because the only protection that a employee in the private sector has against political discrimination is if they are running for public office, if they're campaigning for a candidate for public office, or if they're fundraising for a candidate for public office, all of these outside of work areas, you're pro you're protected from, from doing the protected. And you're able to do these things without fear of, of being.
Andrew Lieb (3m 36s):
So just so we're clear, there is a protection and you're referring to labor law tool. One D this is about New York. Each state has their own rules. There's no federal protection, but in New York there's a protection. But what you're telling me is there's a very limited protection when we're dealing with a private business. So I want you to break it out again. Can you break it out?
Mordy Yankovich (3m 54s):
And if you're sure if you're doing the following things outside of work hours outside of the site, let's say you work. Yeah, go ahead.
Andrew Lieb (4m 4s):
I work from nine to five. If I do it, if I, if I do it between nine and five, Monday through Friday, I'm not protected. But if I do it Sunday, I could be protected. Is that what you're saying? Correct. What happens if I do it on Sunday at the office, I go and use the office as the best printers I go there and I use it. That's a problem then you're not protecting, I'm not protected. So basically what you're saying is this law says it has to be outside of work hours and it can't have anything to do with the premises or the equipment of the employer.
Mordy Yankovich (4m 33s):
Correct. Outside of work areas and outside w
Andrew Lieb (4m 37s):
All right. So let's go through your three categories because you told me there's three areas of protection. I want to make sure I understand it. The first one, I think you said was running for public office, correct. And when you say running for public office, are we talking about me actually being the candidate, me supporting the candidate. Me doing, am I, what does that mean?
Mordy Yankovich (4m 56s):
Well, either. Well, that, then that would, that would go to the other categories either. If you're running for public office or you're campaigning for someone for public officer, you know, assisting in fundraising matters, you're protected.
Andrew Lieb (5m 8s):
Okay. So what happens if I just get myself as I like a beautiful Trump flag that says Trump 2020, and I just fly it everywhere I go, I fly it in the office. I fly it outside of the office. Is that considered running campaigning or participating in fundraising?
Mordy Yankovich (5m 24s):
I would say no,
Andrew Lieb (5m 26s):
Probably not. Wow. So what happens if I have a Trump bumper sticker or a Biden bumper sticker? I put a Biden bumper sticker on my car. I drive it to work and they fire me because of my bite and bumper sticker. Is that campaigning.
Mordy Yankovich (5m 38s):
I would argue that it's not, cause you're not actively campaigning to me with what the law is saying is, you know, you can't be fired for a handing out, handing out bumper stickers for Trump or handing out flags. If you simply have one on your car, I don't see that as, as campaigning.
Andrew Lieb (5m 55s):
So let's break down your example. I go to the, I go to the stop and shop. They are a very good place to buy your ground beef. And I sit in front of the stop and shop where people are going to go grocery shopping. It could be Kroger, or if we're in Florida, but anyway, I go to the stop and shop and I'm sitting there, right? I'm sitting there and everyone that walks in and go have a bumper sticker, vote for Biden, have a bumper sticker, vote for Biden. And I do that to every single person that comes in. My boss comes up to me, orange Trump supporter sees me. He goes to me, I'm firing you, Kenny fire me
Mordy Yankovich (6m 26s):
Is this outside of work hours
Andrew Lieb (6m 27s):
Outside of work hours. This is a Sunday, nothing to do with them, just at the King colon.
Mordy Yankovich (6m 33s):
He can fire you, but he's going to get sued.
Andrew Lieb (6m 35s):
Wow. And could you, can I get my blood big money, big money?
Mordy Yankovich (6m 39s):
Yeah. You can get back pay. You could get potential front pay. Yeah. It could be substantial.
Andrew Lieb (6m 43s):
Let's change the whole story. I want to do it in work hours. I now work for the government. I'm one of these guys that works at the horticulture department and I work at the parks and parks, a little boring. So what I do is at the parks. What I do is everyone that comes to the parks. Not only do I clean up the trails, but I put little Trump stickers on all the trees I get fired. Can I say
Mordy Yankovich (7m 6s):
If you're, if you're in public, a public employee, meaning you work for the government. Yeah. So you work for the, you work for the, for the state government. Yes.
Andrew Lieb (7m 15s):
It was technically a County park, but I hear you.
Mordy Yankovich (7m 19s):
Okay. You would have first amendment protection. Now, if you're violating another policy of the, of the employer, then you know, you might not be able to Sue, but if you're just exercising your first amendment rights, then yes, you can Sue.
Andrew Lieb (7m 31s):
So I'm going to loop back in a second, but I want to just tell you some more stats from this Emily Atkins, because I think it's very interesting with the Cato Institute, all of us, first of all, mortise telling us that you may or may not have rights, depending if you're a public or private employee. Public means you work for the government. Private means you work for your local pizza place and Morty st. You have a lot more rights. First amendment rights. If you work for the public, if you are for the private, there's this narrow thing that if you're doing outside of business hours and outside of time and equipment of business, and you're doing three categories, that's the only time you have rights, but here's what 22% of Americans think they would support firing a business executive who personally donates to buy it.
Andrew Lieb (8m 11s):
And I imagine you donate on your own time. I guess you could use a computer, but you donate it at night. They would, they would also 31% would support firing a business executive who don't need it to Trump. And so the question becomes Lauren, here's the question. Should people be afraid of expressing their political views? And what I'm getting is if you work for a private employer, I wouldn't say bupkis when you're at work and you're rightfully so, keep your button shut. Maybe you want to quit, but you have no rights to Sue if it's happening on business hours.
Andrew Lieb (8m 43s):
But if you work for the government and you probably unionized and you have all these different rules and rights and everything else, maybe you're going to say a lot more. Am I right? Morty?
Mordy Yankovich (8m 52s):
Yeah. Like I said before, a public has a lot more
Andrew Lieb (8m 56s):
Rights when it comes to expressing their political beliefs in the workplace.
Lauren Lieb (9m 0s):
Just want to bring up we're in the year at where discrimination is just making this huge impact on how the workplace is and there's race discrimination. And there sexual harassment discrimination, political discrimination is a big deal, especially at a year of an election. So if I'm a, if I'm an employee and I'm feeling harassed politically, can I do anything about it? Can I Sue? I'm no longer comfortable in the workplace because somebody is making fun of me. My employer, my boss, my manager on a constant basis. I'm feeling harassed. Do I have the same rights as if somebody was sexually harassing me?
Lauren Lieb (9m 32s):
If somebody is politically
Andrew Lieb (9m 33s):
Good question, I want to know more. If they're harassing me and Lauren, you work for a private employer, right? You don't work for the government.
Lauren Lieb (9m 40s):
I'm a private employee. I work for a private employer and this is something that happens every day on our two o'clock zoom meeting. You know, we're going around the room. We're saying everything, the status of what's going on. And it's, and my manager, every single day, it's like clockwork by two 10. He calls me names that I don't want to say on the air. So what can I Sue?
Andrew Lieb (10m 2s):
So for political discrimination by itself, you cannot, however, if the harassment falls into a different protected class, it doesn't, it doesn't, it's just political in her story then no, you're not protected, but that's different just to understand, I have to explore other potential options. I know you always want to do a lawsuit a day, keeps the doctor away for you. But I want to go back to Lauren's question. If she had said she worked for the government, you'd have a different answer. Am I correct? Yes. So what I'm hearing us say today is that depends on where you work.
Andrew Lieb (10m 35s):
So Lauren's pointing out that there's race discrimination, gender discrimination, sexual orientation, discrimination. There is no origin. Well in housing, it could be an employment Lauren, but we're giving categories of protected classes. And what your question was is political discrimination. Are you protected? If you're a member of a political affiliation, do you, if you vote one way or the other, and what Marty's telling you is that when you're in the private sector, it's very limited. It has to be outside of work hours and it has to be off of their equipment.
Andrew Lieb (11m 5s):
And it has to be about running for office, or it has to be campaigning, or it has to be about raising money. Otherwise you got nothing, but if you work for the government, whether it's the federal, the state or a local government, you have first amendment protection. And I want you to know that you're going to have a lawsuit under what's called 42 USC, 1983. And you're going to get major damages. And this applies it to federal law. I want you to know that you are protected Morty. Thank you so much for doing this with us. What we're going to do after the break is we're going to have more to stay on with us because I promised last week, we're going to talk about getting teachers to help our kids at home.
Andrew Lieb (11m 39s):
Stick with us. Have you ever dreamed of owning a rental property opening a successful business, real estate investing.