Free Speech in the Workplace: Increasing restrictions on political speech, dress codes, and work rules

Terry L. Potter
Terry L. Potter
Husch Blackwell

After more than 30 years, Terry is rarely surprised by employers’ questions. Knowing there are no cookie-cutter responses, he works to find solutions that perfectly fit each client.

Brett Holubeck
Brett Holubeck
Fisher Phillips

Brett takes a practical approach to counsel and defend businesses and individual in employment law issues and disputes

Live Video-Broadcast: April 22, 2024

Free Speech in the Workplace: Increasing restrictions on political speech, dress codes, and work rules

$195.00 2 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Session I – Free Speech in the Workplace: Understanding Legal Boundaries and Employee Rights - Terry Potter

This session will discuss free speech in the workplace, covering both private and public sectors. Emphasis will be placed on the increasing restrictions imposed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and other federal/state laws affecting employees' speech rights. Specifically, we'll delve into limitations outlined in recent NLRB guidance by the current General Counsel, addressing employee misconduct, including political speech, dress code restrictions, and work rules. Additionally, we'll summarize federal authority on public employees' speech rights under the Hatch Act and highlight state-level legislation in this realm.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Limitations on employee misconduct
  • Relevant federal authority
  • State legislation

Session II – Free Speech Challenges in Election Years for Employers - Brett Holubeck

As with any major election year, more and more employers and their counsel are facing complex issues of free speech in the workplace. Many employers have also had to respond to issues relating to employee complaints and concerns regarding increased wages, political issues such as immigration, and, of course, various political candidates. In this session, attendees will review the most common legal issues concerning free speech and the workplace including the National Labor Relations Act, whistleblower protections, anti retaliation statutes, non-disclosure agreements and the duty of loyalty, collective bargaining agreements, for-cause termination, and other topics.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Whistleblower Protection
  • Anti-Retaliation and free speech
  • Non-disclosure agreements, and duty of loyalty (i.e. the opposite of free speech)
  • Religion and free speech at work

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Date / Time: April 22, 2024

  • 12:00 pm – 2:10 pm Eastern
  • 11:00 am – 1:10 pm Central
  • 10:00 am – 12:10 pm Mountain
  • 9:00 am – 11:10 am Pacific

Closed-captioning available

Speakers

Terry L. Potter_FedBarTerry L. Potter | Husch Blackwell

After more than 30 years, Terry is rarely surprised by employers’ questions. Knowing there are no cookie-cutter responses, he works to find solutions that perfectly fit each client.

Terry concentrates his practice on labor and management relations. As a former field attorney with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), he brings invaluable insight to clients. This wisdom results in solutions that are not only legally sound but also advance business goals.

Frequently working with healthcare and education clients, Terry exhibits a depth and breadth of industry understanding that enable him to turn obstacles into opportunities. Employment contracts, regulatory issues, worker safety, and wage and hour disputes are all within Terry’s scope. He is adept at union avoidance techniques, and he represents employers in collective bargaining, arbitration and complaints in front of the NLRB. He also assists national companies with state-by-state regulatory landscapes.

Much of Terry’s experience was earned inside state and federal courtrooms across the country, including appellate courts. Terry is frequently sought by clients and outside organizations for speaking engagements and training. He’s also the editor and leading contributor to the firm’s Labor Relations Law Insider blog. Terry is approachable and realistic, and he gives employers the information they need quickly and concisely.

 

Brett Holubeck_FedBarBrett Holubeck | Fisher Phillips

Brett takes a practical approach to counsel and defend businesses and individual in employment law issues and disputes. He knows that good preventative measures are crucial to avoiding litigation and improving performance and employee morale. Brett advises on employee handbooks, drafts employment agreements, helps ensure compliant policies, and understands the importance of having the right policies and practices in place. He has handled wage and hour, employee leave, noncompete, and labor relations matters, as well as represented companies before the NLRB.

Finally, Brett runs his own blog, texaslaborlawblog.com covering various employment and labor law issues.

Agenda

Session I – Free Speech in the Workplace: Understanding Legal Boundaries and Employee Rights | 12:00pm – 1:00pm

  • Limitations on employee misconduct | 12:00pm – 12:20pm
  • Relevant federal authority | 12:20pm – 12:40pm
  • State legislation | 12:40pm – 1:00pm

Break | 1:00pm – 1:10pm

Session II – Free Speech Challenges in Election Years for Employers | 1:10pm – 2:10pm

  • Whistleblower Protection | 1:10pm – 1:25pm
  • Anti-Retaliation and free speech | 1:25pm – 1:40pm
  • Non-disclosure agreements, and duty of loyalty (i.e. the opposite of free speech) | 1:40pm – 1:55pm
  • Religion and free speech at work | 1:55pm – 2:10pm