DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in a conservative environment, and I’m pretty sure most of the employees, especially the higher-ups, are Republican. I am a Democrat with strong views about everything. My sense is that my co-workers have equally strong opinions that are exactly the opposite of my own. Since we don’t share political views, I tend to keep my personal ideas to myself when I’m at work. But I wonder if I should even stay working there. If I don’t have the same values, am I being a hypocrite to continue to work with people who have opposing views? -- On the Fence, Dallas
DEAR ON THE FENCE: It is wise for everyone in a work environment to believe that more than one political viewpoint is present. Part of the beauty of being in America is that we are allowed our personal, religious and political freedoms everywhere, including at work. To ensure that all can coexist, especially when many do not share the same views, remain mindful of yourself and others. You can consider the variety of perspectives that may be at play with any of the hot-button issues of the day. You may choose to talk about them at work or keep your ideas to yourself and discuss them privately after work with your friends and family rather than at work.
It is generally not necessary to leave a job just because co-workers don’t share your political views. An exception might be if decisions at work rely on one’s political perspective. Similarly, if your boss or co-workers try to get you to co-sign ideas that do not match your values, you should stand up for yourself. That friction could lead to discomfort that may encourage you to leave. Just know that you have legal grounds to keep your job even if your co-workers do not agree with your political perspective. It should be about the work that you do. One other point is that you should be mindful of your social media. Do not write incendiary thoughts about politics or political leaders. Anything you say or write can be used to discredit you.