Poll: Majority says private employers should not penalize workers for conduct outside work

Americans are split on whether or not private employers should dismiss an employee for offensive conduct outside of work, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds.

Fifty-three percent of registered voters in the Sept. 30-Oct 1 survey said private employers should not penalize employees for their conduct outside of work

By contrast, 47 percent of respondents said private employers should dismiss an employee for offensive conduct outside of work. 

Along party lines, 62 percent of Republican voters said private employers should not penalize employees for their conduct outside of work along with 54 percent of independents. 

Fifty-seven percent of Democrats said that private employers should dismiss an employee for offensive conduct outside of work. 

The poll found younger respondents were more likely than older voters to favor employers dismissing employees for offensive conduct outside of work. 

Sixty-three percent of 18-34 year olds said private employers can dismiss an employee for offensive conduct outside of work while majorities of voters 35 and older said private employers should not penalize employees for their conduct outside of work.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 958 registered voters between April 19-20. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.17 percentage points. 

Gabriela Schulte