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What is the difference between freedom of speech and freedom of speech in the workplace?
  • Topics:LawHuman Rights
  • Featured on the home page on Oct 1st 2017
  • Post Of The Day on Sep 28th 2017

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What is the difference between freedom of speech and freedom of speech in the workplace?

Explained by Will_Janitor...

I see a lot of people, including the media that really don't get the difference. I'm not going to bore everyone with the details, but it is very easily looked up. Here is just one of many sources for the answers. http://www.hrexaminer.com/is-there-free-speech-at-work/

Top Comment

When you're on the job, you are representing your employer. Even though you have a right to free speech, you can face consequences when you're on the company's time and payroll.

+121212 See / Add Replies

JanHaskell JanHaskell

Comments

There is big difference between exercising your right to freedom of speech and being a complete ****. Some confuse the two.

+665 Reply

Tiffanee Tiffanee

In response to “There is big difference between exercising...

That is also true, but not the answer to the question. :)

+554 Reply

Will_Janitor Will_Janitor OP

In response to “That is also true, but not the answer to the...

Yeah I know. I think it comes down to the situation at work. You can say what you like but once it becomes offensive then you might be crossing the line. Calling your boss a "**** idiot" is freedom of speech but offensive. People still need to draw the line somewhere..

I will shut up now...I need more coffee.

+666 Reply

Tiffanee Tiffanee

In work you can't say anything sexual or near it. Because all the laws to protect go a bit too far. I have heard a guy in a workshop can't even put up a calendar with girls on it - that is silly as he may be the only person looking at it.

+222 Reply

LorraineTwevlehundredRaineTwelvehundred LorraineTwevlehundredRaineTwelvehundred

In response to “In work you can't say anything sexual or near...

That's a different law, as part of employee rights in the workplace, but not freedom of speech.

+111 Reply

Will_Janitor Will_Janitor OP

I thought I'd address the Freedom of Speech as it applies to military personnel and in some cases, civilians who work for the military as government employees. It's kind of ironic that those responsible for protecting your 1st Amendment rights have so many restrictions on their own.
Did you know that a soldier cannot express their political affiliation or support for any political candidate at the workplace, or even away from the workplace publicly while in uniform or if he identifies himself as connected to the military? This includes social media if the soldier identifies himself as a soldier on that social media site.
A soldier cannot disagree with, or say anything negative about an elected official, their policies or their agendas at the workplace or while in uniform anywhere.
A soldier does not have the right to tell an ethnic joke, a sexual joke, or anything else which someone may find offensive, such as one starting with "two blonds walk into a bar."
Remember the pin-up girls soldiers had on their lockers during WWII? Not nude, but just pictures of sexy movie stars. Those kinds of photos are now prohibited.
Can soldiers discuss their feeling or opinions of gays or transgender personnel in the military? No. Can soldiers talk about how they feel about illegal aliens? No. Can a soldier talk about how they feel about islam? No.
The military, under the previous 8 years became a place where nothing could be discussed or disagreed with that had any politically correct affiliation or was a subject involving any "protected" class of people or ideology.

Just something to think about.

+556 Reply

JustJimColo JustJimColo

In response to “I thought I'd address the Freedom of Speech...

There were significant limitations when I was in, but I didn't realize they got restricted that much further. That is some discouraging news.

+333 Reply

Will_Janitor Will_Janitor OP

In response to “There were significant limitations when I was...

It's spooky Will. I get a number of official policies as they come to my inbox. Some are directives from the Sec Army, Senior Officers (0-8 and 09). They would blow your mind. You know there is also mandatory training that everyone associated with the military, must attend annually on how they are are required to pander to certain groups? If you'd like, I can send some examples to you privately.

+333 Reply

JustJimColo JustJimColo

In response to “It's spooky Will. I get a number of official...

I would like to see some when you get the time.

+444 Reply

Will_Janitor Will_Janitor OP

In response to “I thought I'd address the Freedom of Speech...

I didn't know that.... It seems restrictive but it might be a good lesson.

+111 Reply

Sukiesnow Sukiesnow

In response to “I didn't know that.... It seems restrictive...

A good lesson, how?

+333 Reply

JustJimColo JustJimColo

In response to “A good lesson, how?

In mostly restraint. Restraint is a valuable lesson - to think about something before you speak...

+221 Reply

Sukiesnow Sukiesnow

In response to “In mostly restraint. Restraint is a valuable...

You aren't allowed to think before you speak. You are programed with "what" you can say. It's also called indoctrination, kind of like what is happening in our schools. You are not allowed to make up your own mind about what is right or wrong. Someone has already decided that for you.

+333 Reply

JustJimColo JustJimColo

In response to “You aren't allowed to think before you speak...

It wasn't until I was older that I realized I had the right to think before I spoke...and the right to come back much later to the same conversation and open it up again.

+111 Reply

Sukiesnow Sukiesnow

In response to “In mostly restraint. Restraint is a valuable...

Agree, and it's sad that so few people do think before they speak - and, no, that's not a reference to you, but certainly applies to snowflakes and so many dang protesters who apparently don't understand the concept of actually thinking.

+222 Reply

beachbum beachbum

In response to “Agree, and it's sad that so few people do...

That's what's nice about being online...it gives you time to think before typing.

+11 Reply

Sukiesnow Sukiesnow

Great question Will - and Timely!

From your linked article - "The Constitution’s right to free speech only applies when the government is trying to restrict it. Even then, it’s not absolute. There is no free speech in your house; ask your mom. And there is no legal right to free speech or expression at work. (If you work for the government, there is a special set of rules that apply.)"

So in the NFL for instance - if the owners gave a shit, they could insist that their players don't embarrass the franchise by celebrating a touchdown, or not wear unapproved stickers on their helmets or patches on their sleeves. But wait - they do those things - and the players need to comply.

I wonder why they don't insist on players standing for the national anthem!? I wonder if they have their candy **** left arm twisted behind their backs!

+774 Reply

Budwick Budwick

In response to “Great question Will - and Timely! From...

I can tell you that if I was an owner, every single player would be standing, or he'd be out of a job. There are no shortages of players who wouldn't gladly step into that job opening.

+334 Reply

beachbum beachbum

In response to “I can tell you that if I was an owner, every...

I'm with you on that one Beach!

+331 Reply

Budwick Budwick

I had freedom of speech in the workplace, but I knew what to and what not to say. lol A salesman left a risqué msg. on a gal's phone, she reported him, and he was fired on the spot. I worked for a very strict person, and he didn't allow any hanky-panky going on. lol

+555 Reply

StarzAbove StarzAbove

In response to “I had freedom of speech in the workplace, but...

Most people can say what they want within reason at work, but only because the company they work for lets them. They don't actually have a protected right to talk. A company is within it's right to say no talking at work.

+444 Reply

Will_Janitor Will_Janitor OP

When you're on the job, you are representing your employer. Even though you have a right to free speech, you can face consequences when you're on the company's time and payroll.

+121212 Reply

JanHaskell JanHaskell

In response to “When you're on the job, you are representing...

OH Yes when I worked at City hall that was a big thing, I didn't need to be told to treat the public with respect, but some did.

+333 Reply

LorraineTwevlehundredRaineTwelvehundred LorraineTwevlehundredRaineTwelvehundred

There actually is no right of free speech in the workplace protected by the constitution. Even on your own time you are only protected from the government. Not individuals or private sector companies. People seem to forget that the constitution was mainly written to protect us from our own government. It makes total sense considering where our forefathers came from and what they had experienced.

+777 Reply

Will_Janitor Will_Janitor OP

It's really quite simple. The 1st A is a protection from government restrictions. Beyond that, freedom of speech is inherently our right... consequences may apply, however.

+666 Reply

Bozette Bozette

In response to “It's really quite simple. The 1st A is a...

I think a new caveat to freedom of speech is the new term, "hate speech", which is the beginning of the end of free speech. Groups, and then the government will deem what you can say, and what is a crime to say. Today, it's the word starting with N. Tomorrow, it may be anything said about the government or elected officials. Just whittling away at it a little bit at a time.

+332 Reply

JustJimColo JustJimColo

In response to “I think a new caveat to freedom of speech is...

Not as yet, despite the best efforts of many leftists. As of 19 June 2017, the SCOTUS has continued to uphold "hate speech" as protected under the 1st A.

Of course, that does not apply in work or other contractual associations (such as the military, Miss USA, etc.). In non-government and non-contractual interpersonal situations, consequences may apply, though those do not have legal standing as regards "hate speech". (Ex.s being shunned by others, being asked to leave a private business or residence, etc.)

From today's opinion by Justice Samuel Alito (for four justices) in Matal v. Tam, the "Slants" case:

[The idea that the government may restrict] speech expressing ideas that offend … strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express "the thought that we hate."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/...sw_bypass=true

+222 Reply

Bozette Bozette

In response to “Not as **yet**, despite the best efforts of...

I guess in three years, when I retire, I can finally say all that is on my mind, out loud...<s>

+222 Reply

JustJimColo JustJimColo

In response to “I guess in three years, when I retire, I can...

Whoa... that's been building up for a loooong time...I'll prolly be able to hear you here in Michigan. (biggrin)

+222 Reply

Bozette Bozette

In response to “Whoa... that's been building up for a loooong...

After 30 years of military associated frustration... I'm sure you will..<s>

+222 Reply

JustJimColo JustJimColo

In the workplace you are being paid.

+222 Reply

Sukiesnow Sukiesnow

In response to “In the workplace you are being paid.

I would hope so.

+222 Reply

Will_Janitor Will_Janitor OP

In response to “I would hope so.

Loyalty due to being paid might make someone not slander the hand that is feeding them...

+111 Reply

Sukiesnow Sukiesnow

I'm pretty sure I know the difference, and the differences are sometimes murky, even after reading the link you provided.
Living in a "right- to -work" state, I knew before an ESA employee mentioned it, that I could be fired because my employer didn't like my shoes or something, when I was calling about about an actually 'illegal' dictate that employer was trying to impose.

+444 Reply

Piper2 Piper2

In response to “I'm pretty sure I know the difference, and...

Th ere are other employee rights laws on the books for harassment, discrimination, and other protections, but the right to free speech is simply protection from the federal government.

+333 Reply

Will_Janitor Will_Janitor OP

In response to “Th ere are other employee rights laws on the...

I do know that, Will. Thank you, though.

+222 Reply

Piper2 Piper2

I just read a funny thread - a screenshot taken from Facebook. We have this site called "Facebook Fails" over here... And I have to translate the comments, I will attach the picture here as well, although it will be in Finnish... Obviously... Uhmm...

Heidi: "I got a sooooo good idea. I hope my boss thinks it's one, as well. :D"
Marianne: "What is it?"
Heidi: "I will tell you, after I have had a discussion with the other party. :D"

A few days later...

Heidi: "Would anyone know any good job?"

+222 Reply

ZonkeyBalls ZonkeyBalls

The workplace isn't a democracy. This holds true for a high school classroom, too.

+111 Reply

Bub Bub

Jan said what I was going to try to say better than I would. Practically you have freedom of speech anyways whether representing a company or yourself but freedom also means you bear the consequences of your words too.

+111 Reply

Sunny_the_skeptic Sunny_the_skeptic

In the last half century, many Freedom of Speech cases have centered on whether or not people have the right to publish or say or do something that some find objectionable, such as possess child pornography, disagree that homosexuals are "born that way" or burn the flag in protest of the American government.

This can loosely be called Freedom of Expression. In other words, people can express their beliefs however they want. James Madison, notably, who proposed the Freedom of Speech Clause to the First Congress, did not agree with this idea of Freedom of Expression.

Vincent Blasi, James Madison Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia, has said about Madison, "The First Amendment is not about self-expression, the search for truth as an end in itself, or even the opportunity for political participation as a means of self-fulfillment.

It is about checking abuses of power." So Madison saw the Amendment primarily as being about the freedom of political speech.

The intent of the founders where it concerns the free speech clause was the protection of political speech.

Our public education system has seen to our rampant collective ignorance on this matter.

+111 Reply

Brianl Brianl

In response to “In the last half century, many Freedom of...

I totally agree.

+111 Reply

Will_Janitor Will_Janitor OP

I think the players and the owners and the networks miss the big point here. Most of us look forward to watching football to get away from the **** politics. We can get 3 hours of entertainment including usually a couple decent commercials without the same whining and gnashing of teeth about the most petty unimportant crap anyone can think of.

And now they are even screwing that up!

+222 Reply

Will_Janitor Will_Janitor OP

In response to “I think the players and the owners and the...

Don't forget the president, who chose this as his Twitter topic of the greastest import (over both Puerto Rico and even his nuclear ****-measuring contest with Kim Yong-un) for several days running, whipping tens of thousands of (former?) football fans into a frenzy.

Personally, I don't look to celebrities/Hollywood/music icons/sports stars for their political (or any other personal) opinions, but solely for entertainment. That said, if Kaepernick takes a knee in protest...or Tebow in prayer, for that matter...I don't go into a meltdown.

+111 Reply

Bozette Bozette

In response to “Don't forget the president, who chose this as...

I agree. Everything becomes an end of the world issue these days.

+111 Reply

Will_Janitor Will_Janitor OP

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