Can you be fired based on political affiliation?


It appears that your political affiliation is not a protected class and, therefore, you could be fired from your job because of your political affiliation.


Attorney Tom Olsen: Gary, you're on News 965. Go ahead.

Gary: Hello, Tom. Thanks for taking my call.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Sure.

Gary: I think you might find this one of the most interesting questions that you've ever received. You tell me. Since political party affiliation is not a protective class, can someone be discriminated against for employment, number one and then, as a consumer number two?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Gary, I do find that question fascinating. By the way, has it literally happened to you or are you just curious about this?

Gary: It has not happened to me, but I'm curious because I'm wondering how the law plays out. I'm interested in the mechanics of law. I read law books recreationally.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Very good, Gary. First of all, your protected class is the right term. You cannot discriminate against people based on protected classes. That would be age, sex, religion, sexual orientation, et cetera. I think there is literally a list of the protected class subjects. Political affiliation is not on that list. Gary, I'm just going to have to take an educated guess because I'm not an employment law attorney. If I want to fire all the people at my office who're not of my political affiliation I suppose I could. It would not be wise because I think there are more of them than there are of me, whatever I am. Gary, as far as I know, the answer is no. What do you think, Chrissy?

Chrissy: I agree with you. Good. Correct.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Travis Hollifield is the employment law attorney that we refer people to. Travis would be a great source of information. Gary, maybe there's some solicitors out there that may be able to add something to this conversation. Gary, I would say that your political orientation is not a protected class. You could be fired for being something different than the bosses or the powers that be.

Gary: Very good. Thank you for the answer.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Thank you, Gary. We appreciate it.