About thirty years ago I was interviewed by a government agent in connection with renewal of my security clearance. I used to do that about fifty years ago, and the laws haven't changed. After asking me whether I had ever used, possessed or trafficked in any dangerous or illegal drugs, to include marijuana, the obvious newbie asked me what my opinion was of marijuana use. A Teachable Moment.
I told him that the US Government has no right to know my opinion on anything, and that my opinions were irrelevant to adjudicating an investigation to support renewal of a security clearance. He had just violated a couple of constitutional provisions along with at least a dozen federal and state laws. I asked for the name and phone number of his superior (I already knew her) and told him if I ever heard a rumor about his asking for somoene's opinion on anything as part of an investigation to support a security clearance, he should have an attorney at the ready because I would pursue both criminal and civil charges against him.
I spoke later that day with his supervisor and we shared a laugh. It was serious business, but I wanted the newbie to learn. There are cases in which it is legitimate to ask about such things as politiccal affiliation or positions on issues (e.g., I would expect a client to ask me if I was comfortable in writing an explicit scene involving only consenting adults). I would not expect a client to ask me if I were a Whig who favored outlawng abortion, unless the job involved writing advertising copy for an abortion clinic.
Surprise, I'm a lower-case-l libertarian.
I once interviewed with an attorney who, while he didn't ask about my politics, asked extensively if I could work on a case concerning an issue that I was opposed to. I replied appropriately and he hired me. Turns out his firm was representing a couple of state governments with regards to new abortion law appeals. They also represented a state with regard to an appeal of voter ID laws. Loved working with the firm but during the interview, I couldn't figure out where he was going with it.
I would be happy to answer a client's questions about my beliefs and affiliation. I would happily spend endless hours doing so. But that needs to be logged time, so I get paid.
Not as part of a job interview.
Bill, Here in California answering in negative could be grounds for prosecution now.
**Edited for Community Guidelines** And this is to me a very serious and pertinent issue. I always had a fear of clients "having to find out" that I subscribe to such conservatism, via social media or what not other outlets, and it could lead to me getting blackballed for jobs since it doesn't jive with the "mainstream" feelings.
Sure no one should be penalized for their political standings, however, it has increasingly become common where people of my ilk suffer public backlash.
I will never however, never compromise my integrity.
Sorry for being a buzzkill. This is why I always avoid the P-word.
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