In WV can your supervisor require an employee to join a walkout and protest

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In WV can your supervisor require an employee to join a walkout and protest

WV public school employees are on a walkout for better wages and benefits. Does
an employee have to participate

Asked on February 26, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A state employer cannot force an employee to protest: the First Amendment prevents government agencies, entities, and personnel from forcing people to participate in "speech"--including protests--against their will. The First Amendment restricts government's right to either prevent or require "speech" by people. (A private employer could do this, however, since the First Amendment does not apply to private employers.) Of course, if your supervisor refuses to see reason on this, you could find yourself in a fight with your own supervisor or employer--a fight which could be distracting and impact your job, at least short- to mid-term, even if you are ultimately vindicated. Consider that when deciding whether to stand on your principals or whether to possibly take a sick or vacation day instead; sometimes, even when you are in the right, a fight is not practically worth it.


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