Embarrassed. That’s how Sam Smith (last name changed), 32, says he feels about JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s 2018 rant in which he claimed to be tougher and smarter than President Trump, and that he could beat him in an election.
“It’s disconcerting when the CEO of your employer says something like that about the president,” says the software engineer. “We’re supposed to trust [Dimon’s] judgement. Our paychecks and bonuses depend on him.”
Sam says he also got into a kerfuffle about the incident with some co-workers. “They cited freedom of speech. I argued that when you’re the CEO, you speak for the company. Anyways, we’re over it now, but it could have gotten ugly.”
Welcome to the new world of work, where discussing politics, once considered taboo, is quickly becoming the norm. In a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 56 percent of US employees said that politics and the discussion of political issues have become more common in the past four years. Forty-two percent have personally experienced political disagreements at work, while 34 percent said their workplace is not inclusive of differing political perspectives, and 12 percent have personally experienced bias because of their political-affiliation bias.
Moreover, president of SHRM Johnny Taylor says an unprecedented number of employers are calling his office for counsel about dealing with situations arising from political discussions. “They want to know if they can ban them,” he says, noting that public companies can’t, but some private companies can. “But that’s not what we recommend.”