I have a coworker that adds communists statements at the end of their work emails, am I in the wrong to ask them to stop?

Asked on May 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your employer is a government agency or department (including a public school), or some institution heavily supported by the government (such as many universities), the First Amendment protection of freedom of expression applies and your co-worker may express his or her communist philosophies.

If your employer is  private employer, a co-worker or underlying could freely ask--but presumably not force--this employee to stop adding his or her political statements to the end of emails. A supervisor or manager, however, could order him or her to stop--since there is no First Amendment protection for statements made in private employment (the First Amendment applies to government action), the employer could forbid these, or indeed any, political (or religious) statements on work emails.

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