Do I Have a Right to Speak Freely at Work?

Your Constitutional Right to Free Speech May Not Apply.  This right only protects individuals from unreasonable restriction of speech by the government.  This right does not apply to actions taken by private employers who limit or penalize employee free expression of thoughts and opinions.  However, this right may have some application to public sector (governmental) employees.

But there is Limited Protection Under the NLRA.  Some private sector employees can talk freely about work issues under the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRA establishes rights for both union and non-union employees to seek mutual aid and support from each other.  This law protects the rights of employees to discuss their wages, benefits, terms and conditions of employment, unlawful employer activity, and joining or supporting a union, but does not extend to other matters.

Note: The NLRA does not apply to public sector employees, agricultural and domestic workers, independent contractors, workers employed by a parent or spouse, and employees of air and rail carriers covered by the Railway Labor Act.  A supervisor may be covered if discriminated against for refusing to violate the NLRA.  If you’d like to know more, check out the NLRA.

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Chapel Hill, NC