Telling Employees How State Legislation, Regulations and Ballot Measures Affect Them and Your Company

THE DILEMMA
group calchamberYou know that pending state legislation, a proposed regulation or a ballot measure will have a huge impact on your business, either directly because it affects your company/industry, or indirectly because of its impact on the jobs climate and economy. You’d like to let your employees know about your concerns — but can you?
The answer is yes — IF you keep in mind and follow some “dos and don’ts” outlined in state law or regulations. Following is a quick overview, including actions to avoid.
You CAN…
  • Communicate with your employees, stockholders and their families about the company’s support of or opposition to state legislation, regulations or ballot measures.
  • Encourage your employees, stockholders and their families to support or oppose state legislation, regulations or ballot measures.
  • Communicate your political messages to your own employees (and their families) through such means as:
    • internal mail systems (separate from payroll distribution);
    • e-mail systems;
    • regular mail;
    • bulletin boards;
    • phone bank messages; or
    • employee meetings.
  • Inform employees, stockholders and their families about the effect of state legislation, regulations and ballot measures on the company, its employees and stockholders.
You CANNOT…
  • Control or direct the political activities of your employees “through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment.”
  • Coerce your employees to support or oppose a ballot measure.
  • Reward or punish employees for their political activities or beliefs (or threaten to do so).
  • Put any political messages in or on employees’ payroll envelopes. NO PAYCHECK STUFFERS.
Informing your employees and stockholders about the impact of proposed state legislation, regulations and ballot measures is within your rights as a business owner. Just remember to do it the right way.