A Guide to Free Speech at Work - Part 2


What about Facebook?

You’ve probably heard of at least some of the many, many instances in which an ill-thought-out Facebook post or Tweet has resulted in someone losing their job. People mistakenly assume that what they post online is protected by the First Amendment – but this only protects the right to free speech from the government, not from private businesses. The NLRA may cover posts complaining about poor working conditions or treatment under certain circumstances, but it does not cover general moaning or random abuse directed at the boss.

The real problem here

If your employees are making your business look bad by saying negative things, you have a bigger problem on your hands. Creating a policy designed to gag your employees is not going to solve the issue and is likely to create a culture of fear and suspicion that will only make things worse. If your employees are unhappy, ask yourself (and them) what you can do to rectify this. Your employees are your greatest asset and are instrumental in the long-term success of your business…if you want your employees to have good things to say about you, ensure your business is a good place to work.

To view Part 1 in our Free Speech at Work series, click here.

Jacquelyn Gernaey