Is it legal to require an applicant to have liberal political views?

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Is it legal to require an applicant to have liberal political views?

Specifically, the language used is as follows- ‘We are looking for the right cultural fit for this position.
Why is it important for you to work at an organization like Daily Kos? You’ll need to know or research a bit about Daily Kos to answer this question from an informed place. ‘ I am otherwise qualified to apply for this position, but now realize I will not be considered based on my political views. Thank you

Asked on May 28, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The law only prohibits discrimination based on being in a certain "protected classes". In other words, discrimination based on a person's race, religion, age (over 40), disability, nationality, gender, etc. is against the law. Otherwise, discrimination in the workplace (or anywhere else) is legal). The fact is that not all employees or, in your case, applicants need not be treated the same or even fairly. Absent an employment or union agreement to the contrary, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. An employer may set any criteria it wants for employees, other than criteria which the law specifically bars from consideration (or being grounds to deny employment), the chief of which are race, color, age 40 or over, religion, sex, or disability. There is no law protecting political views, however: an employer may decline to hire or employ someone whose views do not match its views. (Exception: the 1st Amendment, which applies to the government, not private employers, bars government employers from considering politics in hiring at other than top policy levels.) 


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