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More than ever before, it seems like employees simply can't leave their political beliefs out of the workplace. Perhaps that's because of our current vitriolic political climate or because so much of our political beliefs affect what happens in the office.

Thoughts on union membership, workplace discrimination, and equal pay often come from certain political leanings or take on political overtones when discussed at work, so employers trying to keep politics out of the office have a harder task than they may even realize. Heck, employees fired for flipping off the president are now filing lawsuits against their former employers.

So how to keep your workplace above the political quagmire? Here are five things to think about:

The year 2017 was quite memorable for workplace sexual harassment allegations. But the harassment wasn't limited to Harvey Weinstein, Uber, and CEOs from hell. According to a lawsuit filed last week, even shift managers at local diners were guilty of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Three former waitresses at the Grand Coney Diner in Grand Rapids, Michigan sued the restaurant and its parent company, claiming a shift manager at the restaurant sexually harassment them and other women. And management was allegedly aware of the harassment and failed to intervene.

Amazon Worker Fired After Complaining of Hurt Back

Amazon strives to be the most customer-centric company on the planet. But one employee of the mega-retailer is wishing the company took better care of its workers as well. Bryan Hill from Seffner, Florida is suing the online retailer for firing him after he hurt his back on the job and complained to his managers.

It's perhaps fitting that the day before Equal Pay Day, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that employers may no longer consider salary history in setting an employee's pay.

And now that Equal Pay Day is here, you might be wondering how that court decision, and other local and state laws, affects your small business. A good rule of thumb is to pay all your employees equally for equal work at their positions, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other non-business factor. Beyond that, here are five things to consider when setting wages for male, female, and non-binary employees, from our archives:

Employer Sued by Woman Fired for Flipping Off the President

Remember that photo of the cyclist flipping off President Trump's motorcade in Virginia? You may also remember that she was forced to resign just days after the photo went viral. Now the Virginia woman is suing her former employer, claiming they violated her right to free speech.

No one says you need to perform background checks on your potential employees, and there's a movement to "ban the box," or refrain from asking questions about an applicant's criminal history. In fact, Target pulled criminal history questions from its applications in 2013, although it still gathered criminal background information later in the hiring process.

What Target didn't do, according to a lawsuit, was apply these criminal background checks to all prospective employees equally. And the company has agreed to pay $3.74 million to settle allegations that black and Hispanic applicants were disproportionately denied jobs based on their criminal histories.

How Your Company Practices Might Lead to Age Discrimination

Running a business is no small feat. Besides your overall goals, there's the numbers side of the endeavor, and there's a whole myriad of laws to abide by. One area of law you have to be conscious of is age discrimination. Even if you don't intend to discriminate, it's possible that your company practices might inadvertently lead to age discrimination. So, it's important to be aware of what the laws are and how to avoid unfair practices.

Can Employers Force Flu Shots on Employees?

Employers can force many things upon employees -- meetings or events where attendance is mandatory or a specific start time each day, just to name a couple. But, you may wonder how far can an employer's control reach? Well, under most circumstances, an employer can force its employees to get a flu shot.

However, note the "under most circumstances" part of that sentence because certain situations may create a case of employment discrimination. For example, according to a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice, a woman in Wisconsin was given the option of getting a flu shot or getting fired, despite the fact that she claimed a religious exemption from the policy.

Firing People Over Sexual Orientation Is Illegal, Circuit Court Rules

It's time to add another reason to the (lengthy) list of reasons why businesses shouldn't discriminate against LGBT workers. Besides turning off customers and courting controversy, it's now illegal under federal law in New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. There's a reasonable chance that the U.S. Supreme Court could soon extend that decision nationwide as well.

Lawsuit Claims Vice Media Pays Women Less

Vice Media, which operates the Viceland cable channel, is the latest company to face allegations of discrimination against female employees. Elizabeth Rose, a former employee of Vice Media, has filed a lawsuit against the company alleging that Vice Media discriminates against its female employees by "systematically and intentionally paying them less than their male counterparts."

The complaint alleges that as part of her job, Rose received internal memos showing the salaries of approximately 35 Vice Media employees, which showed that women "made far less than male employees for the same or substantially similar work."