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Sun Aug 5, 2012, 09:37 AM

Where Free Speech Goes to Die: The Workplace [View all]

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-03/where-free-speech-goes-to-die-the-workplace



In America you can say pretty much whatever you want, wherever you want to say it. Unless, that is, you’re at work. Simply put, there is no First Amendment right to “free speech” in the workplace—potentially perilous for many employees in a polarized political year with a tight presidential race.

Current news provides plenty of examples of just how much leeway managers have to limit their workers’ freedom of speech, or to encourage political activity among employees. On Aug. 2, an Arizona-based medical supplies manufacturer, Vante, dismissed CFO Adam Smith for berating a Tucson Chick-fil-A employee for working at what he considered a homophobic company. Chick-fil-A has made national headlines recently for its president’s controversial comments about same-sex marriage.

“I don’t know how you live with yourself and work here,” Smith says in a video of the exchange, which was posted on YouTube (GOOG). “This is a horrible corporation with horrible values. You deserve better.” Vante quickly fired Smith, and posted its regrets about the incident in a statement on the home page of its website.

Bosses and those who work under them are not equal when it comes to free-speech legal claims. Employers have the right to take action against any employee who engages in political speech that company leaders find offensive. With a few narrow exceptions the Constitution and the federal laws derived from it only protect a person’s right to expression from government interference, not from the restrictions a private employer may impose, lawyers say.

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Reply Where Free Speech Goes to Die: The Workplace [View all]
xchrom Aug 2012 OP
90-percent Aug 2012 #1
Gidney N Cloyd Aug 2012 #2
twizzler Aug 2012 #4
slampoet Aug 2012 #12
dflprincess Aug 2012 #26
slampoet Aug 2012 #28
loli phabay Aug 2012 #3
twizzler Aug 2012 #5
leftyohiolib Aug 2012 #6
MattSh Aug 2012 #14
leftyohiolib Aug 2012 #21
annabanana Aug 2012 #7
appal_jack Aug 2012 #8
tritsofme Aug 2012 #9
Zalatix Aug 2012 #10
Robb Aug 2012 #11
appal_jack Aug 2012 #13
tritsofme Aug 2012 #23
appal_jack Aug 2012 #25
CBGLuthier Aug 2012 #15
appal_jack Aug 2012 #19
Odin2005 Aug 2012 #16
appal_jack Aug 2012 #22
cbdo2007 Aug 2012 #17
joeglow3 Aug 2012 #18
LanternWaste Aug 2012 #20
Octafish Aug 2012 #24
mindwalker_i Aug 2012 #27
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