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Speechless

Book Description

A factory worker is fired because her boss disagrees with her political bumper sticker. A stockbroker feels pressure to resign from an employer who disapproves of his off-hours political advocacy. A flight attendant is grounded because her airline doesn't like what she's writing in her personal blog. Is it legal to fire people for speech that makes employers uncomfortable, even if the content has little or nothing to do with their job or workplace? For most American workers, the alarming answer is yes.

Here, Bruce Barry reveals how employers and courts are eroding workers' ability to express themselves on and off the job—with damaging consequences for individuals, their employers, and civil society as a whole. He explains how the law and accepted management practice stifle free speech on the job, why employers make repressive choices, and what workers can do to protect themselves. And he shows that not only are our rights as employees being diminished, but also our effectiveness as citizens—as participants in the civic conversations that make democracy work.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. More Advance Praise for Speechless
  5. Introduction: Speechless At Work In America
  6. One: When Work and Speech Collide
    1. FREE SPEECH AND EXPRESSION IN THE WORKPLACE
    2. WHY CARE ABOUT WORKPLACE EXPRESSION? AND WHY NOW?
  7. Two: Constitutional Rights In Public and Private
    1. THE CIVIL RIGHTS CASES
    2. STATE ACTION AND FREE SPEECH
    3. THE CURRENT STATE OF STATE ACTION
  8. Three: Unemployment At Will
    1. A BIT OF HISTORY
    2. EXCEPTIONS
    3. CATEGORY-BASED EXCEPTIONS
    4. IMPLICIT AGREEMENT EXCEPTIONS
    5. PUBLIC-POLICY EXCEPTIONS
    6. EMPLOYMENT AT WILL AND FREE SPEECH
    7. THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYMENT AT WILL
  9. Four: Public Employee Speech
    1. IT CAME FROM MASSACHUSETTS
    2. THE 1950S: LOYALTY, SUBVERSION, AND ASSOCIATION
    3. MR. PICKERING GOES TO WASHINGTON
    4. CONCERN ABOUT PUBLIC CONCERN
    5. LAWYERS NOT IN LOVE
    6. AFTER CONNICK: MORE CONCERN ABOUT PUBLIC CONCERN
    7. PUBLIC CONCERN WITH SEX
    8. WHISTLING IN THE DARK
    9. HATCHING POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
  10. Five: A Chill In the Private Sector
    1. WHEN PRIVATE IS REALLY PUBLIC
    2. WHEN PRIVATE IS PRIVATE, BUT PROTECTED
    3. BEYOND OUR BORDERS
  11. Six: Why Free Speech Works
    1. COLLECTIVISTS
    2. INDIVIDUALISTS
    3. RECONCILIATION
  12. Seven: Civil Rights and Wrongs
    1. ACCOMMODATING EXPRESSION (RELIGIOUS AND OTHERWISE)
    2. FREE SPEECH + HARASSMENT = COLLISION
  13. Eight: Speech In the Digital Age
    1. FLY ME TO THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE
    2. ADVICE AND CONSENT
    3. YOUTHFUL INDISCRETIONS
    4. PROFESS FOR SUCCESS
    5. THE MAIL EGO
  14. Nine: Managing Expression Inside the Workplace
    1. THINKING ABOUT MANAGEMENT THINKING
    2. SPEAKING IN (CORPORATE) CODE
  15. Conclusion: The Case for Freer Expression
    1. A BALANCING ACT
    2. SOCIETY, CIVIL AND OTHERWISE
    3. FREER SPEECH
  16. Acknowledgments
  17. Notes
  18. Index
  19. About the Author
  20. About Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  21. Be Connected