We’re living through a period of time in the US unlike any we have previously experienced, simultaneously grappling with a deadly public health emergency, mass protests – some peaceful, some not – seeking racial justice and police reform, and an increasingly bitter, partisan political landscape that likely only will intensify as we get closer to Election Day in November 2020. With each of these momentous issues comes a wide spectrum of individual opinions. Some view governmental actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as overblown and disproportionate to the risk, with shutdown orders and face-covering mandates intruding on personal freedoms and coming at the expense of economic stability. Others see these measures as unfortunate, but necessary for the public good. Support for the cause of racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement is greater than ever before, but certainly not universal. And the current political climate is more acrimonious than it has been in decades, stoked by intense feelings on both sides of the proverbial aisle.
Against this backdrop, employers are primarily focused on doing what they can to return their businesses to normalcy, while at the same time implementing appropriate measures to provide their employees with a safe and healthy work environment. But it’s inevitable that, with this unprecedented trio of health, social, and political issues being ever-present in every employee’s daily life, they will be the subject of discussions among employees in the workplace. It’s also inevitable that with a wide range of viewpoints on each of them, conflict, to some degree, will arise in the workplace. Continue Reading