CAN POLITICS BE USED TO FIRE NJ EMPLOYEES?
The First Amendment safeguards the right to free speech from the tyranny of the state. Regarding retribution, the Constitution doesn’t protect people against private individuals, such as employers. If New Jersey injury lawyers at Sattiraju & Tharney, LLP are fired because of their political views, they need to seek outside the Constitution.
Generally, pro-law protects political ideology in the same way it outlaws sex or discrimination in several states, including California and New York. On the other hand, New Jersey provides no safeguards for political views or perspectives. Employees, however, may still have recourse if they are fired because of their political beliefs.
- Employees Of The State
Those working by the government or a municipality enjoy greater freedoms of expression than workers in private businesses. However, this will not mean that the state employees are free to say whatever they choose and avoid disciplinary action or dismissal.
Government servants are also protected from censorship to the degree that their expression is of public interest. However, it is possible that one’s political ideas could fall within this category. In some cases, an employer’s interests may trump the free speech rights of an employee; therefore, a public employee’s job remains at risk.
- Laws With Differential Effects
Specific political actions may be protected under the Law Against Discrimination. Employees who took part in a political rally, for example, may be terminated by their employers. There may be grounds for the employee to dispute the dismissal if it unfairly affects a particular demographic—such as African-Americans, Muslims, or others.
Anti-discrimination legislation in New Jersey safeguards against discriminatory employment practices. Workers may also assert a “disparate impact” claim. An employer may not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, or national origin unless it can demonstrate that its policy is job-related or motivated by economic necessity.
- Employer Intimidation Act For The Protection Of Workers
New Jersey passed this law in 2006, although it’s not widely known. Following New Jersey Statute 34:19-10, employers may not require their employees to attend gatherings where the employer expresses their views on political or religious subjects. Employees may not be compelled to discuss political or religious topics with their employers, nor can employers impose this requirement on them. Religious and political organizations are exempt from this rule.
Employees can’t be forced to attend the meeting where their boss tells them to support a democratic politician or donate to a charitable organization, an example of an employer’s powerlessness. The employer is also prohibited from asking the employee for their opinions. In addition to religious organizations and activities, the law extends to social, political, and communal groups. Under NJSA 34:19-13, any employee who has been retaliated against because of refusing to take part can file a lawsuit and seek reinstatement and damages. However, there is a very brief window to take such a course of action.
However, the law permits employers to “invite” their employees to attend. Employers must make it clear to employees that they will not be penalized for not following.
- Pierce Accusations
“An employee has a right of action for unfair dismissal where the firing is contrary to a strong mandate of public policy,” said the High Court Jersey in 1980. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation v. Pierce, 84 New Jersey 58, 72 (1980). To decide whether or not you have a “clear mandate of public policy,” you must thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your termination to see if you qualify for a “Pierce claim” for political speech or expression.
Is It Legal To Speak Politically At Work And Still Have Your Job?
A single tweet and Facebook post might end a person’s political career. Contact an attorney right now to learn more about your legal options.