Source: Laura Scott, Employment Alert, Volume 37, Issue 19, September 16, 2020
…Private employers may be wondering whether and when an employee may be fired for engaging in protest-related conduct. The First Amendment protects an individual’s freedom of speech, right to assemble, and therefore the right to peacefully protest. But, it does not guarantee an employee a job.
If an employee is “at will,” an employer can technically end the employment relationship at any time for any reason. But, it’s rarely a good idea to terminate someone “just because.”
Also, depending on the applicable state law, a private employer may be barred from taking adverse employment action against an employee for conduct engaged in at a protest while off duty…..