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Don't cross that line!

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

The morning after the Great Debate, politics will be on everyone's lips.

But around the office water cooler, it's one subject that should be handled with extreme care. So says David Barron, a labor lawyer with Cozen O'Connor in downtown Houston.

"There's a lot of topics that are political, but cross over into racial, ethnic and religious issues," Barron said. "(They) are not really very appropriate to be talking about in a workplace because people can have their feelings hurt."

It just so happens, Barron is a Mitt Romney supporter.

But just down the hall, his colleague Charles H. Wilson is a Barack Obama booster.

"He has made a lot of progress with respect to adding jobs and turning us around," said Wilson. "I think at the end of the day when you're creating jobs, the recession's going to end pretty soon."

The attorneys take pot shots at each other's politics, but they know better than to cross the line.

"We don't let it consume us," Wilson explained. "And we don't let it get in the way of doing what we're supposed to do and being professional."

The two labor lawyers recommend that employers make it clear to their workers that different views are to be respected. But those differences are not to be hashed-out on the job.

"In Texas, it's against the law to discriminate against somebody based on how they vote," said Barron. "So if you have a manager running around asking people how they're going to vote, that's a problem. Or it could be a problem."

That's not to say that employees can bring the campaign to work. Private employers have the right to regulate political speech in the workplace.

"Generally they do," said Wilson. "The thing that employers have to be careful of is how they do it. As long they're doing it in a fair manner and they're doing it with everybody, then that's okay."

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