Free Speech On The Workplace Essay

1128 Words Nov 18th, 2015 null Page
• Free Speech
When it comes to the concept of free speech in the workplace, fewer legal areas are more confusing. A great number of people typically complain about and question the situation where an individual such as a sportscaster gets fired for "exercising his right of free speech." First, it must be understood that the First Amendment right to free speech is limited. The First Amendment only prohibits the government from restricting speech, not ESPN, your local TV station, or, if applicable, your private-sector employer. Private business organizations like corporations are more or less free to censor the speech of their employees as they desire. If you 're an "at-will" employee, you can be fired for almost any reason or no reason whatsoever, so speak, email, text and post with extreme care and caution in the workplace. Your workplace rights are few.

Private employers ' freedom to restrict free speech includes the ability to prohibit employees from engaging in any speech that is not work-related during working hours. Private employers also have an absolute right to regulate or prohibit any category of “unprotected” speech such as obscenity or “fighting words.” Further, all employers must take action against employees that create a hostile work environment including engaging in speech that would constitute harassment.

What private employers cannot prohibit is speaking on behalf of yourself and coworkers in order to improve work conditions or for objecting to an illegal…

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