Feds Tell Google to Let Workers Express Political and Workplace Opinions


Dana Wilkie By Dana Wilkie September 13, 2019
Feds Tell Google to Let Workers Express Political and Workplace Opinions

​Google must ensure that its workers can speak up on political and workplace issues, according to the National Labor Relations Board. The board's directive was part of a settlement of Google employee complaints that their company retaliates against those who do so. Although Google leaders have long said that they encourage open debate, current and former employees say that they were punished for raising concerns about equality and freedom of speech, reported The Wall Street Journal.

SHRM Online has collected the following articles about this topic from its archives.

Don't Require Employees to Keep Written Warnings Confidential

Trying to discourage workplace gossip by prohibiting employees from discussing their written disciplinary warnings usually isn't a good idea on the part of employers, employment attorneys say. Precluding employees from discussing written warnings could trigger a claim that the employer is violating the employee's rights under Section 7 of the NLRA, which covers protected concerted activity, as the warnings could be interpreted to be a term or condition of employment.
(SHRM Online)

NLRB May Reconsider Whether Profane Outbursts Are Protected
The National Labor Relations Board is having second thoughts about some of its earlier decisions that shocked the business community by finding certain profane and racially offensive outbursts are protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The board has asked for briefs to help it reconsider the standards for determining whether a worker's profanity or slurs used during union or other concerted activity disqualify the employee from NLRA protection.
(SHRM Online)

What Employee Speech Is Protected in the Workplace? 

Employees don't have a constitutional right to free speech at work, but employers still need to be aware of federal and state laws that do protect workers' speech in certain situations. 
(SHRM Online)   

SHRM members-only toolkit: Managing and Leveraging Workplace Use of Social Media]   


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