Employer Limits on Employee Free Speech

Is the duty of loyalty a limit to freedom of expression?” In their article of that title Félix Germek-Michaud and Simon Gagné of Lavery Lawyers answer “yes”, in examining the case of a bookstore employee who wore a patch in support of Quebec students who were protesting government tuition changes:

“The right to freedom of expression is not absolute. It does not permit employees to comment on political events unrelated to their workplace at all times and an employer can intervene if an employee expresses his opinions at work and on social networks. An employer has the right to request that his employees adopt a neutral position in these matters in the workplace and on the social networks. […] [The] employer can legitimately maintain its neutrality in current debates and require that its employees respect such neutrality in the workplace [but] it is important to ensure that management is consistent and fair”.

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