Shaun Richman

Shaun Richman is an expert on employment issues and author of the new Century Foundation report "Labor’s Bill of Rights." 

Recent Articles

Want to Really Help Workers? Protect their Speech!

Americans’ First Amendment rights should apply to American workers. 

AP Photo/Mike Groll
AP Photo/Mike Groll Mark Emanatian, of Citizen Action of New York, speaks during a rally for a $15 an hour wage in Albany. W hen does free speech stop being free? At the entranceway of one's job, apparently. That was the implication of a ruling this month from the Eighth Circuit Court, which found that the sandwich conglomerate Jimmy John’s was within its rights to fire six employees for making signs that protested the company’s policy of forcing workers to come to work when ill. While the decision came as a surprise to many, the logic underlying it—that employees have few, if any, free speech protections on the job—has had devastating impacts on American workers for decades. Indeed, the dramatic drop in union representation is due in part to the fact that our court system regulates employees’ ability to organize by the impact of their organizing on businesses’ bottom line, devoid of any concern for the free speech or civil rights of workers. Until we ensure that freedom of speech...