Speechless: The Erosion of Free Expression in the American Workplace

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2007 - Political Science - 287 pages
A factory worker is fired because her boss dislikes the political bumper sticker on her car in the parking lot. Another is canned after refusing to display an American flag at his workstation. A stockbroker is pressured into resigning by an employer who disapproves of his off-work political activities. A manager gets the ax because of his online essay about homosexuality. 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 expressing themselves, even when it' s unrelated to performing their jobs? Can you lose your job because of a bumper sticker? For many American workers, the answer is yes, indeed. In ""Speechless,"" Bruce Barry confronts the state of free speech in the American workplace. He shows how employers and courts are eroding workers' abilities to express themselves on and off the job, with damaging consequences for individuals, their employers, and civil society as a whole. In defense of free speech in and around the workplace, Barry argues that the experience of liberty in a free society, as well as in life, in general, depends in part on the experience of liberty at work.

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Contents

Speechless at Work in America
1
When Work and Speech Collide
11
Constitutional Rights in Public and Private
26
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Professor Barry is president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee €“ the state affiliate of the national ACLU organization. He has been a contributing writer on political, economic and social issues for the Nashville Scene (a weekly alternative newspaper) since 2000, and before that was a columnist for In Review (another weekly alternative paper), with more than 120 essays published by the two papers. He has been cited and interviewed widely in the media, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rocky Mountain News, Miami Herald, Gannett News Service, Associated Press, Business Week, Time, HR Magazine, Workforce Magazine, National Employment Business Weekly, Chronicle of Higher Education, St. Petersburg Times, The Tennessean, Nashville Banner, Nashville Business Journal, Nashville City Paper, Jackson Sun, Huntsville Times, Franklin Review-Appeal, Glamour.

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