There have been numerous instances this year of leaders of companies forcing their employees to show up at political rallies or making it clear which candidate they prefer – just recently the CEO of Westgate Resorts wrote an email informing his employees that their jobs were on the line if Obama got re-elected. Of course, David Siegel has no way of knowing which way his employees voted but made it clear in his email that Obama’s policies have damaged his company’s bottom line and that he’d rather retire than lead a company through four more years of Obama’s leadership.
I don’t think it’s wrong that corporate leaders make it known which way they are voting and why certain candidates would be better for their company than others, its covered under free speech. I think it’s important that employees know how the political climate will effect their jobs just as it is important that they know based on their own research how different candidates will affect them on all issues of importance. There are more and more instances of these emails popping up this election based on a clear cost employers will have to pay for the Affordable Care Act (sometimes dubbed Obamacare). In an email Lacks Enterprises CEO sent to employees, it was noted that employee salaries would not be as high under an Obama administration. After being questioned whether Obama’s bailing out of the auto industry helped his business, he responded that his company did not benefit from the auto bailout.
On the other hand, as a note to the employees of these companies whose leadership is sending out these emails, many CEOs would be classified under the group of people that would be taxed at a higher rate than if Romney is elected. Anyone making more than $250,000 would not be extended a continuation of the Bush-era tax cuts under Obama, and that would certainly affect small business owners and those Obama considers rich. Every day we are inundated with suggestions to vote one way or the other, be it commentary by the media or signs across the street. CEOs certainly can voice their opinions as well but if such is the case employees should have the same opportunities to have their voice heard, unfortunately this is not the case as it is rare that a entry level employee would email his/her entire company with a political view.
So, in short, yes – employers should be able to make political suggestions. On the other hand employees should have that same right.