Office Decorations Policy
Author: Jessica Sussman
When to Use
Decorations in the workplace may lead to a variety of issues for employers. Employers must balance the employee right to personal expression with the employer's need to create a professional atmosphere which enables productivity and does not offend other employees. Religious issues and safety issues are perhaps an employer's greatest risk from office decorations. Employers must consider whether or not the decorations are considered offensive to employees who are not of the same religion. Since employees do not have an absolute right to engage in religious expression in the workplace, employers may set reasonable restrictions on the employee right to decorate their work spaces with respect to size, location and manner of expression.
Additional issues, including claims of harassment may arise based on unrestricted office decorations. Displaying suggestive pictures or photographs may lead to claims of sexual harassment. For these reasons, employers are well advised to have a policy regarding office decorations that balances employee rights of self expression, while protecting the employer from claims of discrimination or harassment.