Skip to comments.Government May Soon Direct What Private-Sector Employees May Say in the Workplace
Posted on 09/05/2014 6:28:08 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
"Employee's Demotion for Comparing Media and Political Reaction to Trayvon Martin's Death to Lack of Response Over Shooting of a White Baby Upheld.
Decision Highlights Troubling Aspects of Potential Government Overreach in "Hostile Work Environment" Law
Washington DC - In response to a recently-announced North Carolina administrative decision upholding an employee's demotion for comments about race, and in light of the calls for increased racial dialogue following Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri, the National Center's in-house legal scholar is warning American workers that local and federal government leaders may soon restrict racial and political speech even in private work places.
"In the wake of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri, political leaders and pundits are calling for Americans to engage in frank discussions about racial issues. It is a common theme following such events, but one that is fraught with peril for American workers," warns National Center General Counsel Justin Danhof, Esq. "Just as President Barack Obama called for a national discussion about race following Trayvon Martin's death, pundits of all stripes are clamoring for kitchen table and water cooler talks following the death of Michael Brown and subsequent riots in Ferguson, Missouri. This is potentially dangerous advice."
Any earnest discussion about race - specifically in the workplace - could very quickly lead to claims of a racially hostile work environment. Those claims can lead to demotion or termination for those participating in such conversations. A case that was recently decided by the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings highlights the problem.
The facts of the case are straightforward. In brief, an employee - who was a government worker in a supervisory role - used a break in a meeting to read aloud from a Facebook post. Written from the imagined perspective of an actual 13-month-old white baby boy who was murdered in Georgia, the post lamented the decided lack of political and media attention to his death at that time as opposed to the constant attention surrounding Trayvon Martin's death at the same general time. The post attributed much of this discrepancy to race - the baby being white and Trayvon being black.
The employee was demoted for her actions, and the recent North Carolina case upheld that decision.
"I do not have qualms with the specific outcome of the case since the employee appears to have broken clear office rules regarding cell phone and Facebook use. The problem is that the arbiter went too far in ruling that the employee's action contributed to a hostile work environment," said Danhof. "This has implications beyond this one government employee and could negatively impact many private sector employees as well. Many hostile work environment laws are inherently vague and therefore give the arbiter extreme latitude in deciding these cases. This is an issue that transcends race, and the way it can stifle free speech and put employees at risk for something even the President encourages shows why something must be done to reform this problem in the workplace."
Cases such as this could very well lead to instances of government restricting speech based on content and viewpoint - where speech deemed hostile to blacks is punished and speech that is hostile to whites it not - even when such speech is on private property.
"By declaring that the employee's speech was 'racially and politically provocative,' the precedent set by the hearing officer could make these types of statements actionable in a private work setting - even if the employer would not restrict such speech," said Danhof. "That is big brother on steroids."
"Do you think affirmative action discriminates against white and Asian students, and that some black and Hispanic beneficiaries of the program are undeserving? You better not say so out loud. Do you support ballot integrity measures such as voter identification laws? You better not talk about it, lest you be judged as hostile to blacks," warns Danhof. "Law and justice are increasingly color-centric, not color blind. Americans who want to have earnest discussions about these and other important issues at work, do so at their own peril. "
To read more of Danhof's legal analysis and commentary on this issue, go here.
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Pff. Already happened. Try saying something negative about homosexuals in any voice above a whisper, to anyone who’s not a close trusted friend.
It’s getting more and more like the Third Reich everyday.
What the heck, I never liked that ole freedom of speech thingy anyway.
I’m not fully knowledgeable on the subject, but as I understand it political correctness was rampant in Germany in the years prior to World War II.
Here we go again...
Allah akhbar, mmmmmm, allah akhbar, mmmmm, allah akhbar.
A Fortune 500 company I worked for made us all sign a 10 page “ethics” statement. In it we promised, on pain of instant dismissal, not to talk about race, religion, or politics. Jokes were specifically forbidden. When I asked why the wide-eyed HR lady said, “Oh, my, you have NO idea who you might offend.”
Conversation in the workplace was to be about work related issues. I asked a guy what he was doing for the weekend. He stood, covered his look around with a stretch and whispered, “I’m taking Sandra and the boys fishing.”
Darmak and Jalad at Tanagra
I’ve been careful what I say at work for years. Why bring trouble
onto your self at the office?
“If fascism ever comes to America, it will come in the name of liberalism.”—Ronald Reagan
You are correct. It has been said that political correctness is nothing more than fascism masquerading as manners.
In case there's anyone still living in Mayberry, let's be clear: when someone says "we need a frank discussion about race", that's Orwellspeak for "all white people must admit they are racist pigs who will shoot black toddlers in the street."
— Carlos Hathcock! - Please pick up the red phone in the lobby . . .
Law and justice are increasingly color-centric, not color blind.
So. We know who’s rewritten law and justice, don’t we.
The arbiter acted stupidly. Probably belongs to a race that would label this comment as racist.
I’d agree to that analogy
Shaka..and the walls fell.
The conservative, so-called, is the one that says less government, get off my back, get out of my pocket, and let me have more control of my own destiny,
This amplifies victimhood to have a heckler’s veto over free speech.
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