Is Speech Really Free?

Hot Topic:Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life and fined $2.5 million by his employer, the National Basketball Association (NBA). The punishment came after public outrage was aimed at Sterling who was recorded making racist comments to his girlfriend regarding NBA players, her friends and whom he wants to not see at Clippers games.

This story could affect your own Human Resources practices. Your employees may be asking you, “Isn’t he protected by Freedom of Speech?”   Your answer should be, “no.”

If it has been decided that one of your employees has said something (especially if it was outside the workplace) that makes your company look bad, you can legally terminate them. However, they cannot be arrested for their comments. The First Amendment

only protects employees and what they say from the government – not from their employer.

If you have questions about this or other HR practices, feel free to call the HR experts at Achilles Group. 281-469-1800.

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