In a recent interview with Illinois News Bureau business and law Editor Phil Ciciora, Professor Michael LeRoy discussed speech rights of employees and employers. An excerpt from the interview follows:
Some professional football players argue that the NFL is violating their speech rights by compelling them to stand during the national anthem. Some critics also contend that ABC is violating the speech rights of comedian Roseanne Barr when they canceled her show. What do these two seemingly disparate parties have in common with respect to their First Amendment rights at work?
Well, to be blunt, neither party has First Amendment speech rights in these instances. Employees in private workplaces do not have a First Amendment right – even though they often mistakenly think that they do.
The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Neither the NFL nor ABC is the U.S. Congress; nor are they a government entity – a state, for example – where First Amendment rights would apply.
Read the full interview at Illinois News Bureau.