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three wise businessmen

As our nation gears up for the 2020 presidential election in a climate that seems more politically charged than ever, talk of politics will inevitably reach the watercooler at work. However, many employees may not realize that their political speech is not necessarily protected in the workplace.

The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech” (USCS Const. Amend. 1), but that restraint applies only to government; the Constitution does not protect an employee’s freedom of speech if he or she works for a private entity.

Thus, private employers—unlike public employers—have a wide latitude of discretion to restrict political speech in the workplace. However, there are important exceptions to this general rule.

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