The presidential campaign has everyone talking politics, and inevitably a lot of that talking takes place at work. As the campaign season moves toward the general election, many employers are re-examining their workplace policies concerning political activities and speech.
Evidence suggests employers must educate employees concerning workplace political speech. A 2001 AFL-CIO study concluded that 80% of employees believe that it would be illegal for their employer to fire them for engaging in political expression at work. But unless those employees work for the government, they’re wrong.
Public, private employment contrasted
How can 80% of employees hold such a false belief? The answer lies in a general lack of understanding of the Constitution’s First Amendment freedom-of-speech guarantees.
First Amendment protections apply only to “state action,” not private employment. Thus, unless the conduct at issue relates...(register to read more)