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America's political divisions are creating another challenge for restaurant employers

Working Lunch: The polarization is spilling into the workplace, with 26% of employees already saying they feel the effects in their job experiences.

The political discord that’s dividing American society is bleeding into the workplace, with 1 of 4 workers reporting they’ve been treated differently because of their political beliefs or affiliations, according to a new study.

The implications of the report from the Society for Human Resource Management, or SHRM, are explored in this week’s episode of Working Lunch, the weekly podcast hosted by government-affairs veterans Joe Kefauver and Franklin Coley.

The principals of Align Public Strategies agreed that the study points to a new issue for restaurant employers. As Kefauver put it, “Workplaces themselves are becoming a little more volatile.”

“There’s not a lot of crossover on issues,” Coley said of the state of the sharp divisions that are currently evident in American politics and society. “To have that in the workplace is a potentially troublesome dynamic.”

He notes how divergent political views and any resulting friction could worsen the job of someone whose beliefs put them in the minority. He cited the instance of Starbucks, where employees are voicing a decidedly progressive viewpoint are spearheading a union drive.

“If you’re a MAGA Republican, it’s probably not super-comfortable working in a Starbucks,” Coley said, referring to the Make America Great Again rallying cry of Donald Trump’s followers.

Coley and Kefauver also look at which cases likely to be heard during the next session of the U.S. Supreme Court hold implications for the restaurant industry, including one with profound implications for supply-chain management.

Download the current episode and all installments from wherever you get your podcasts.

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