Nothing’s Free: Speech in the Workplace

Wednesday 4:20 – 5:20pm

Session Description

Last year, political and social rhetoric reached a fever pitch leaving many to believe that that free speech has no bounds, but that simply isn’t true. The First Amendment does not protect an employee’s political or social speech in the private workplace; it only prevents the government from infringing on an employee’s freedom of speech. For employers who want to limit speech in the workplace there are a number of legal considerations. Together, we will discuss those laws, explore how employers can regulate speech in the workplace without violating those laws, and discuss best practices..

Learning Objectives

  1. Limits of free speech in the workplace
  2. Understanding of laws that may limit an employers ability to regulate speech
  3. How to avoid common pitfalls

Michelle Moe Witte

Michelle Moe Witte is an attorney at Martin Pringle. Many of her cases involve labor and employment law, defending employers charged with discriminating on the basis of age, gender, race, disability, or religion under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Additionally, she assists clients with compliance issues and audits, employee handbooks, policy development, investigations, performance evaluations, concerns of workplace violence, job descriptions, employment contracts, severance agreements, and non-competition agreements. She is a trusted, strategic advisor and has a proven track record of successfully representing clients in state and federal court and before various administrative agencies. Her clients include non-profit organizations, small businesses, and corporations. When she is not in the courtroom, she is in a theatre where she sees 30 to 50 musicals a year.