Legal Blog

Telebriefs®: Terminating Employees Who Engage in Controversial Social or Political Activity

With the recent violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, employers are left wondering whether they can discipline or terminate employees who participate in controversial social or political activity outside of work. The First Amendment only applies to public employers or employees who are engaged in public employment on the state or federal level. On the other hand, the First Amendment does not afford protection to employees who work for private employers. Under Title VII, or under most state statutes, political activity or social speech is not a protected classification. Therefore, if a private employer, in most state jurisdictions, observes an employee in a video or other public display engaging in violent protests or engaging in activities that contradict the values of the employer, such employer may terminate the offending employee. To learn more about terminating employees, listen to this week’s Telebrief here.

Also in this week’s Telebrief: what employees can post on social media and “The New Economy Works to Guarantee Independence and Growth Act of 2017”.

Questions about terminating employees or other topics from this week’s Telebrief? Contact us



About the Telebriefs®

The Telebriefs® are 30-minute, information-packed phone calls geared towards executives, HR directors, supervisors, managers, and business owners. Join Howard K. Kurman, as he discusses employment law developments occurring over the past two weeks that will most significantly impact employers nationwide. These twice-monthly phone calls are an easy way to stay current and compliant with the latest employment law developments that will significantly affect you and your company. The goal is to provide information and insights to help executives stay current with the latest workplace law developments and in front of trends, to enable proactive policy-making and management. Our guarantee: You will learn something useful, on every call!


Howard Kurman | 410-209-6417

Howard K. Kurman is an employment attorney. Mr. Kurman regularly counsels clients on all aspects of proactive employment/labor issues. He represents employers ranging in size from as small as 20 employees to those employers with geographically disparate locations consisting of over 4,000 employees. Mr. Kurman assures, through regular contact with his clients, that they promulgate and maintain the most effective employment policies that will, to the extent possible, minimize their legal exposure in today’s litigious workplace. Mr. Kurman offers advice on employee handbooks, employment agreements, and covenants not to compete as well as confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements. Previously, Mr. Kurman was the chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group.

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