(Bloomberg) -- Complaints of politically biased treatment at work have doubled since before the pandemic, according to new research by the Society for Human Resource Management.
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About a quarter of US employees say they've experienced biased treatment because of their political affiliations - either preferential dealings or undue negative actions on the basis of their political opinions - compared to just 12% of workers in 2019, according to a survey of over 500 Americans conducted by SHRM in late August.
Companies have been forced to contend with politically fraught issues in recent years, from the 2020 presidential election to Covid-19 pandemic workplace safety measures and vaccine mandates, climate change, nationwide protests against racial injustice and the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. As the US heads into the contentious midterm elections, only 8% of organizations have communicated guidelines to employees around political discussions at work, according to a SHRM poll of over 1,500 human resource professionals.
The study found that about 30% of supervisors would be hesitant to hire someone who disclosed extremely conservative beliefs, while 20% said the same for a candidate who expressed extremely liberal beliefs.
"In today's climate, people are saying, 'I can't work with you if you don't share my views,'" SHRM president and chief executive officer Johnny Taylor, Jr. said in the report. "It's a problem HR professionals and business leaders cannot ignore."
At the same time, recent research has found that executives have become more politically polarized, and more Republican, over the last decade.
Read more: Board Rooms Are Becoming More Politically Polarized
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