Tag: First Amendment rights

Can You Fire an Employee over Social Media Posts?

Can an employer fire employees solely over what they’ve posted on social media? Does the answer change, depending on whether the post was made from a work or personal device? Does it matter whether the person’s social media account is connected to the employer in some way?

The First Amendment and Burping

At the beginning of one episode of The Simpsons, Bart is seen writing “The First Amendment does not cover burping” on the blackboard. Although the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law abridging” freedom of speech, more than two centuries of practical application have taught us that even the […]

Can’t Block This!—Best Practices for Your Company’s Social Media Policy

Federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled that President Trump could not block certain Twitter users from viewing his tweets, and that doing so was in violation of the U.S. Constitution. This ruling comes on the heels of President Trump—whose Twitter handle @realDonaldTrump—blocking some of his critics, many of them celebrities, from his Twitter account. Those […]

Can They Do That? Firing Employees for Off-Duty Conduct

by T. Harold Pinkley Participating in last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia—an event that involved several groups usually identified as the “alt-right,” along with groups protesting the marchers—has proven to have unforeseen and unintended consequences, including job loss, for some of the people involved. This article examines how you can or should […]

Office politics: preventing disruptive discourse

by David L. Johnson Recently, a Pennsylvania YMCA stopped showing cable news shows on the TVs in its gym because they were prompting political squabbles among its members. When filtered into the diverse workplace, passionate opposing political viewpoints can harm productivity and morale and even create liability issues for employers. Sometimes political discussions can morph […]

Comments and tweet using variation of ‘n’ word are protected speech

by Michelle Lee Flores Actor and writer Marlon Wayans’ use of the term “nigga,” his comments referring to an actor’s “afro” and comparing him to a black character on Family Guy, and his tweet, including a side-by-side photo comparison of the actor and the Family Guy character, were all protected speech, according to a trial […]

Not funny: mocking coworker’s spouse’s religion

by Zachary D. Morahan The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, 2nd Department, recently issued an important decision in which it held that an employer faced liability under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) for allowing employees to mock the religious beliefs of a coworker’s spouse. This case has important ramifications for both […]