While employees have the right to Freedom of Speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the working environment is not the appropriate place for promotion or discussion of employee political views. Board Policy DGA (Local) provides that an employee’s participation in community, political, or employee organization activities shall be entirely voluntary and shall not:
- Interfere with the employee’s performance of assigned duties and responsibilities;
- Result in any political or social pressure being placed on students, parents, or staff; or
- Involve trading on the employee’s position or title within the District.
In addition to the restrictions set out in DGA (Local), employees should refrain from engaging in any of the following activities during duty time:
- Soliciting votes, contributions, or support for or against a particular candidate or ballot measure;
- Discussing personal opinions with students regarding a political candidate or ballot proposition, unless the topic is directly related to the approved curriculum;
- Preparing, displaying, wearing or distributing campaign literature, clothing, materials, or signs for or against a candidate or ballot measure (this prohibition does not apply to bumper stickers on personal vehicles provided that the style and content of the bumper sticker is not obscene, profane, disruptive, or otherwise in violation of District rules);
- Soliciting volunteers to assist with a campaign for or against a political candidate or ballot measure;
- Preparing for, organizing, or participating in a political meeting, petition, rally, or event;
- Political speech or expression of personal opinions on social media during work hours;
- Using any District resources for political or campaign activities, including but not limited to, District facilities, property, funds, supplies, fax machines, copiers, computers, employee mailboxes, or email accounts.
While off duty (including duty–free lunch and break times), employees may express their opinions and may engage in political activity but should do so in a way that does not cause disruption to the work environment or impede the operations of the District. Off duty employees are also free to engage in political speech on social media in support of or opposition to a specific candidate or proposal.