TAMPA, FL — August 2, 2019 — Labor and employment attorney Gregory A. Hearing, shareholder in GrayRobinson’s Tampa law firm office, provides insight on how the First Amendment does not afford limitless free speech in The HR Digest article “Don’t Take a Knee to Employee Free Speech in the Workplace.” Many employees even believe that the First Amendment protects all forms of speech and prohibits all employers from restricting their speech, including private sector employers – when in reality, the First Amendment only prohibits government action. It does not prohibit the restrictions of speech in the private-sector workplace.
“Employees have no right to engage in the foregoing types of speech, and employers are likewise unprotected if they participate in such speech,” explains Hearing. He further details the distinct differences between free speech for private-sector employees versus public-sector employees – as the rights of employees to speak freely in the workplace can differ drastically in each one.
Additionally, employee rights depend heavily on whether the speech relates to the terms and conditions of employment, is disruptive and / or whether it regards a matter of public concern. Hearing advises, “In today’s divisive political climate, an employer should be well versed in these matters to avoid taking a knee to unprotected speech.”
Read the full article here.