How do you discuss sexual harassment and other sexual misconduct with your friends and colleagues?
Saturday Night Live, in one of its most brilliant sketches in a long time, offers a suggestion.
Or, rather, a suggestion not to have the conversation at all.
But can you prohibit your employees from discussing #MeToo in the workplace?
Maybe. Or Maybe not.
It likely depends on whether employees are offering a general political viewpoint, or discussing a incident specific to your workplace.
If it’s the former (a general viewpoint on #MeToo, or society’s reaction to the movement, or allegations levied against a celebrity), then you are probably on solid ground implementing a halt to any such discussions, as private sector employees do not enjoy many free speech rights at work.
If it’s the latter (a discussion about the specific incident at work), a gag order likely violates Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision.
How are you handling #MeToo conversations in your workplace?
This post originally appeared on the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog, and was written by Jon Hyman, Partner, Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis. Jon can be reached at via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via telephone at 216-831-0042, on LinkedIn, and on Twitter.