logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Career Training Site

BellaOnline's Career Training Editor

g

Freedom of speech and the Workplace

Guest Author - Dianne Walker

Ask any employee about their rights to freedom of speech in the workplace, and they will tell you that they are entitled to say what they want, when they want and how they want.

According to Article 19 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Does this freedom of expression have an exception in the workplace? Consider two employees of vastly different backgrounds. Take into consideration their difference in cultures or religion. Imagine if one has a low tolerance for individuals of other nationalities. Does this give that employee the right to utilize their “freedom of speech” to make derogatory remarks regarding the other employee? Where is the line drawn?

This has become a difficult situation for Human Resources managers as they seek to maintain a culturally diverse workforce, free from harassment. With Facebook, Twitter and blogs, the freedom of speech dilemma not only occurs in the workplace, but outside the workplace as well. According to the American Society for Training and Development, over 26 million American’s have their own blogs. The electronic dilemma is further compounded by the over 100 million plus Facebook users.

Electronic media, coupled with employees relying on the “freedom of speech” argument has made navigating between upholding policy and not infringing upon employee rights a virtual mine field for organizations. Is it infringing upon an employee’s rights if you reprimand them for posting negative comments about another employee or confidential information about the company? This scenario has played out in many offices across the country.

What does this mean to you?

While blasting your co-workers may not necessarily be illegal, sharing confidential company information can lead to termination or even jail time. Posting rants or even bashing your manager on Facebook may not lead to any tangible issues, but the intangible ramifications can abound. Consider your own advancement within the organization once management discovers your "freedom of speech" inspired activities.

Is invoking your rights to freedom of speech worth the price? In the case of an irate or disgruntle worker, this can be a very difficult question to answer. Especially if it is based on a “matter of principle” rather than logic. Sharing derogatory comments about a particular unfair rule, may qualify as a point of contention, but ask – is there a better way then letting loose and exercising an emotionally charged statement under the guise of freedom of speech?

Freedom of speech, while granted under Human Rights, may not always be the best action to take depending on the situation. Its effects can be silent, yet far reaching, especially in terms of your career.



This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Freedom+of+speech+and+the+Workplace to Twitter Add Freedom+of+speech+and+the+Workplace to Facebook Add Freedom+of+speech+and+the+Workplace to MySpace Add Freedom+of+speech+and+the+Workplace to Del.icio.us Digg Freedom+of+speech+and+the+Workplace Add Freedom+of+speech+and+the+Workplace to Yahoo My Web Add Freedom+of+speech+and+the+Workplace to Google Bookmarks Add Freedom+of+speech+and+the+Workplace to Stumbleupon Add Freedom+of+speech+and+the+Workplace to Reddit




Dealing with Verbal Abuse in the Workplace
How to Handle a Bully at Work
Harassment in the Workplace
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Career Training Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Dianne Walker. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Dianne Walker. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

g


g features
What to Bring On Your First Day of Work

How to Avoid Sexual Harassment at Work

How to Avoid Over Communication

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor