Panel Discussion: Political Protests, Evangelization, and Intolerance: When Conflicting Ideological Beliefs Can Lead to Workplace Violence

Employees have the right to voice opinions tied to political, religious, socio-economic, and other issues, but to what extent should they be allowed to do so in the workplace? Is there evidence tying one’s proclivity for protesting and evangelizing to a propensity for violence? If so, what are signs that an employee is engaging in ideological intolerance that could escalate to violence? This session, featuring a criminal profiler, an organizational psychologist, and an employment attorney, will examine incidents where activist’s or zealot’s views played a role in an attacker’s violent acts. Were there clues in social media posts or through other communications those workers engaged in? If so, what were the employer’s legal rights to monitor and respond to the threats? And, how can you strike a balance between respecting employees’ personal views and limiting speech and other conduct that could escalate into violence?



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