Tag: free speech

Google

The Message in the Medium: Lessons Learned from Google

For years, Google has been playing with fire by encouraging employees to post almost anything on its internal message boards. The company, known as the portal for any inquiry imaginable, brought its open search philosophy in-house, encouraging robust employee discussion on almost any topic, without fear of retaliation.

Free Speech in the Workplace

There’s no question that many Americans believe that we are more politically divided than ever, and the tension from that divide is being felt in the workplace. In a 2018 study by Randstad US, 43% of survey respondents reported that they have at least one work colleague whose political views do not align with their […]

Firing Drummer Was a Protected Act of Free Expression

We are often asked whether being an “at-will” employer means a company can terminate somebody for a discriminatory reason—for example, because she is a woman or a person of color. The answer is no. The at-will-employment doctrine does not protect employers from the consequences of discriminatory job actions. But the 2nd District Court of Appeal […]

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 […]

You say gorilla, I say guerilla

by Mark I. Schickman Political correctness is a moving target in America today—President Donald Trump got elected in part because of his battle against it. But it remains alive and well in broadcast journalism, as ESPN tennis commentator Doug Adler learned earlier this year.    Adler was an All-American tennis player during his college days at […]

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 […]

Election dynamics in the workplace: Free speech? ‘You’re fired’

by Courtney Bru None of us were immune from this year’s presidential election dynamics. Disrespect and name-calling have seemed more prevalent than policy discussions. The election was highly polarizing, potentially pitting employee against employee.  In the midst of it all, employees were often misinformed about their “free speech rights” in the workplace. A recent instance from Georgia […]

From sports and entertainment to politics and social justice—when worlds collide in your workplace

It’s everywhere. Whether you like it or not, you can’t escape it. While the topics of politics and social justice are undoubtedly important discussions to have in our country, the reality is that they now seem ever present. Consider, for example, two popular entertainment outlets many individuals usually go to in order to “escape” from […]