January 08, 2021

The Associated Press Turns to Susan Kline for Insight on Employers' Rights to Remove Workers for Rioting

In the article “Rioters who stormed US Capitol now face backlash at work,” The Associated Press detailed several examples of businesses that have terminated employees for their participation in the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, turning to Faegre Drinker labor and employment partner Susan Kline for insight on employers’ rights in these instances.

Kline explained to the publication that most private employers can fire workers for attending protests, since First Amendment rights only prohibit people from being punished by the government for their speech, not by a private employer.

The few exceptions The Associated Press noted include those who work for the government, as they may be more legally protected, as well as many unionized workers, who typically have a contract listing the reasons for which they could be fired. Also, some states may have laws that protect workers’ free speech.

The article has been republished in several national and international media outlets, including U.S. News and World Report, The Star Tribune, The Independent and Daily Mail Online.

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