Can an employer in Oregon discriminate based on political preferences?

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Can an employer in Oregon discriminate based on political preferences?

I recently was ‘punished’ laid off for two weeks for saying I wasn’t
comfortable with a fellow employee wearing a ‘Make America Great
Again’ hat, obviously supporting Donald Trump, is this legal?

Asked on July 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Perfectly legal, unless you work for the government. Employment is employment at will; you may be terminated, suspended, etc. for any reason not specifically barred by law. Only certain reasons are prohibited: the main ones are you can't be fired due to your race, national origin, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability. There is no protection for political views, unless you work for the government, so the 1st Amendment applies (the 1st Amendment does not apply to private employers).


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