Political Affiliation and Future Employers

Politics in the workplace? Yikes. That subject’s pretty much like walking on eggshells…or broken glass in some cases.

Upon choosing my blog topic for the week, I started thinking about a job I was offered recently. My thoughts immediately turned to the consequences of taking this position, rather than the benefits.


The "Kicking Donkey" party logo is s...
The “Kicking Donkey” party logo is still a well-known symbol for the Democratic Party, despite no longer being the official logo of the party. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, a friend of mine talked to me about getting involved with the Larimer County Democrats. As a registered voter for the Democratic Party, the immediate words out of my mouth were, “Sure, why not?” As a college student with an interest in politics, I figured making a few phone calls, canvassing, and helping with event planning sounded like fun. Plus, it would be something I could put on my resume.

There it was. Resume. Did I want something like this on my resume? I know it sounds ridiculous, but my first thought was: would I be discriminated against for having this listed? Would my future potential employer look down upon this if they affiliated with a different political party, or had a different political view in general?

I mean, sure, I know there are all sorts of federal laws that prohibit job discrimination like the Equal Employment Opportunity act, but what does that mean for me? Would that possible future employer toss my application aside just because we may not see eye-to-eye?

Upon further investigation into the matter via the internet, I discovered “currently only in California, New York, and Washington, D.C. have laws specifically making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of an employee’s political activity or affiliation, while two or more states Colorado and North Dakota prohibit discrimination on the basis of “lawful conduct outside of work” (www.workplacefairess.org). To further this, www.workplacefairness.org also states that “participating in a fund-raising activity for the benefit of a candidate, political party, or political advocacy group” is considered a political activity or affiliation.

Being the over-thinker that I am, I went back and forth on the matter, but finally came to the conclusion that if I take the position, it’s going to be added to my resume. I’ll stick it right between my volunteer activities and work experience section.

I’m in college; I should be building my resume, not concealing activities because I am afraid of my future employer’s opinions.