Traditionally, it has been taboo to discuss religion, politics, or divisive matters of public concern in the workplace. Most employers want the worksite to be about work and want to avoid controversial and potentially offensive discourse.
However, in the current political climate, amid a global health pandemic, and the movement for social justice gaining unprecedented momentum and widespread support, many employees have taken to the streets — or their social media platforms — in protest.
Employers are challenged to be sensitive and accepting of varying opinions and beliefs while ensuring that conversations in cubicles and at lunch tables do not interrupt productivity or subject companies to negative publicity or, worse, liability.
We all know that the details matter, so we can’t give you the magic words to fix this situation. However, here is some high-level guidance on what speech you can regulate in the workplace and what and when employees can freely express their opinions.
What Speech Is Protected?
If you are a public employer, your employees have First Amendment rights. For everyone else, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects certain concerted activity by employees related to the terms and conditions of employment.
The NLRA protects both union […]
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