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Speechless by Bruce Barry

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96

FIVEA Chill in the Private Sector

THIS CHAPTER WILL BE SHORTER than the last one, and for a good reason: there is less to say about legal protections for free expression in private-sector employment than there is about the public sector. I ended the last chapter a bit sardonically by saying that as a public-sector employee, you have rights to free speech except when you don’t. In the private-sector workplace, I can say, perhaps no less glibly but also no less appropriately, that you have no right to free speech except when you do.

For most of the nation’s history, expressive rights for both public- and private-sector workers were virtually (and equivalently) nonexistent. By the last third of the twentieth century, however, the courts had ...

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