General Question

pleiades's avatar

What are your thoughts on freedom of speech in the work place?

Asked by pleiades (6576points) May 12th, 2014

Some lady said that she thought the Miami Dolphins player who was suspended for calling Michael Sams kiss on television, “Horrible” on Twitter a violation to the 1st amendment.

She said she thought he should’ve been able to voice his opinion. Obviously he works for the NFL and the team itself decided to punish him for his comments and he immediately wrote an apology letter.

That’s a large scale example, do you have any small scale examples and what are your general thoughts about freedom of speech in the work place?

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19 Answers

GloPro's avatar

Um, don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

As far as I’m concerned, I see no reason why the American constitution should be suspended when one simply walks through the doors of their workplace. If these companies do not like America, they can do business somewhere else. Fuck them. Bite their fucking hand right off.

canidmajor's avatar

The term “freedom of speech”, is so often misused these days that people tend to forget what it actually means, when one refers to the First Amendment.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This does not guarantee a freedom from consequences. Private groups can behave any way they want if no law has been broken, and often contracts are written with “good behavior” clauses, sanctions can be imposed for violating those clauses.
Words or deeds than can damage a business need not be tolerated by that employer.
Whether we personally like it or not, Congress has not been passing any laws against free speech.

eno's avatar

The player signed a contract where he agrees to abide by the rules of his employer in exchange for a wage. He can voice his opinion, but by doing so, violates his contract and receives his consequence.

Also, my house, my rules

Freedom of speech stops where private property begins (unless it is your own property). Since a work place is privately owned, you have to abide by the owners rules. Get out of his house and reject your paycheck, if you want to voice your opinion.

RocketGuy's avatar

The 1st Amendment guarantees that you can say anything you want. It does not guarantee you won’t get consequences.

Plus, if it causes problems for your employer, they have a right to come after you.

Strauss's avatar

This is why many employers have rules (written or unwritten) about conversations in the workplace, especially when it comes to topics of a political for religious nature.

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

There is no longer freedom of speech. In the work place or even in your personal private life. I know what side of the political aisle has made these new rules but I’m just so damn sick of people who don’t want to believe what is true.

marinelife's avatar

Freedom of speech does not exist in the workplace. Possibly, you can freely express your opinion in your personal time, but your employer can also fire you (most employment is at will) if they don’t like it or want to be associated with you anymore.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Lightlyseared The hover text in that cartoon is particularly relevant.

johnpowell's avatar

Here I what the hover text on the cartoon says:

“I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.”

Darth_Algar's avatar

You have freedom of speech. You do not have freedom from consequences of your speech.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I’m free to tell my boss to F*%k off and he is free to say get the F^*k out! The 1st amendment is alive and well in the workplace.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

There are some who have mentioned the consequences of using your Free Speech poorly. The slander/libel laws were designed for this very thing.

Interestingly, the defense to a charge of slander or libel (written slander) is the truth.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Slander/libel laws only cover specific things. Telling your boss to “fuck off”, for example, is not slander/libel.

pleiades's avatar

Where areas telling them to fuck off and calling them a cheating man slut is slander. @dan_lyons basically it has to damage someones reputation I guess and wording comes off with malicious intent. Calling someone an asshole is basical;y an opinions statement and not malicious

josie's avatar

The First Amendment only guarantees that the Federal government will not prohibit free speech. It doesn’t say a word about the Dolphins.

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