Ben Martin's post relays discussion of association policy about whether or not employees should be able to add personal political or religious comments in a tagline with their association email. Says provides self-expression by staff and members get to know them as real people. Gives example of association allowing favorite quotes in a tagline along with association info.
I'd have to vote no on complete freedom of expression in association email taglines ... not just for employees but any representative of an association - including volunteer leaders. Reasons:
1. Associations often take political positions. Authorized political positions would be fine to include, but not personal political opinions. Would give members and the public the impression the association has a position on a political issue they may not have. Employees and officers should not be able to contradict or appear to create political positions using association's name.
2. Having religious quotes or positions next to the association's name in email is going to relay "this is the association's position too". Certain religious positions can be political positions.
Post didn't mention sexually suggestive taglines. Employees may not realize what appears to be "innocent fun" (e.g., suggestive messages on clothing or tagline quotes) can quickly turn into a huge legal problem for the association; in addition to being demeaning to many who view it.
Allowing favorite quotes with taglines easily accommodates a large volume of potential topics .... while providing reasonable concern about allowing religion, sex and politics among choices. Even "Yankees Suck" can't be the tag-line (even if favorite quote of an employee), where "Go Sox" could ....
Don't associations have enough liability?
Like this post? Subscribe by RSS or email.