Today the New York Times ran a story about the increase this year of employers expressly telling employees who they think the employees should vote for in the election. Until the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision in 2010, laws prohibited companies from using corporate money to persuade employees to vote for particular candidates. Now, however, companies can use their obvious coercive leverage with employees to sway their votes. Some companies have warned that if president Obama is re-elected, employees’ jobs could be in jeopardy. Gov. Romney has encouraged corporations to engage in this type of activity.
Federal law prohibits anyone from coercing or intimidating voters to vote a certain way. These companies claim that they are just expressing their opinions but the implication is clear to many employees that if they vote for a particular candidate, theirs jobs are in jeopardy. For instance, after he got a mailer from his employer urging him to support Romney, Travis McKinney, a forklift driver with Georgia-Pacific, said “it leaves a bad taste, I won’t even wear my Obama pin to work because of the mailer.”
If you complain about your employer violating laws that prohibit voter intimidation and coercion and your employer retaliates against you, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer to learn more about your rights.