McDonald’s, Work, and Elections

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As reported by The New York Times, a McDonald’s franchise owner encouraged his employees to vote a certain way.

Because you don’t need to be smart or savvy to run a McDonald’s, apparently.

When workers in a McDonald’s restaurant in Canton, Ohio, opened their paychecks this month, they found a pamphlet urging them to vote for the Republican candidates for governor, Senate and Congress, or possibly face financial repercussions.

I love it when people talk about politics at work because it makes life a little more interesting. What I don’t like is employer-sponsored political speech — whether it’s on the left or on the right. (Yes, there are pro-business CEOs who are Democrats and pro-union leaders who support the GOP.)

When a supervisor or leader in a position of power tells an employee how to vote, it feeds into the stereotype that a worker is too stupid to make a good, political decision. And whether it’s coercive or not, employer-sponsored political speech looks bad, could cross the line and be illegal, and is bad for business.  Employees should vote on a whole panoply of issues — not just issues that are near and dear to an employer’s heart.

You want your workers to participate in the political process? Give them time off to vote and encourage them to volunteer at the polls. Otherwise business owners might consider shutting the hell up and staying away from a citizen’s guaranteed right to exercise his freedom at the ballot box.

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