Speechless: The Erosion of Free Expression in the American Workplace

Front Cover
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Jun 18, 2007 - Law - 250 pages
A factory worker is fired because her boss disagrees with her political bumper sticker. A stockbroker feels pressure to resign from an employer who disapproves of his off-hours political advocacy. A flight attendant is grounded because her airline doesn't like what she's writing in her personal blog. Is it legal to fire people for speech that makes employers uncomfortable, even if the content has little or nothing to do with their job or workplace? For most American workers, the alarming answer is yes. Speechless takes on the state of free expression in the American workplace, exploring its history, explaining how and why Americans have come to take freedom of speech for granted, and demonstrating how employers can legally punish employees for speaking their minds.
 

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Contents

Speechless at Work in America
1
1 When Work and Speech Collide
11
2 Constitutional Rights in Public and Private
26
3 Unemployment at Will
42
4 Public Employee Speech
63
5 A Chill in the Private Sector
96
6 Why Free Speech Works
125
7 Civil Rights and Wrongs
140
8 Speech in the Digital Age
166
9 Managing Expression inside the Workplace
190
The Case for Freer Expression
207
Acknowledgments
231
Notes
233
Index
277
About the Author
287
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Professor of Management and Sociology at Vanderbilt University. His research on negotiation, influence, power, and justice has appeared in numerous scholarly journals and volumes. Professor Barry is a past-president of the International Association for Conflict Management (2002 2003), and a past chair of the Academy of Management Conflict Management Division.

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