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Jun 24, 2010

A Blogger, Suspended; No Free Speech at Work

Blogger and Los Angeles Times pressman Ed Padgett announced on his blog Wednesday (June 22) that he had been suspended by the paper, apparently for blogging (here, here, and here) about the newspaper's production woes late last week. 

"So much for first amendment rights," Padgett wrote in his post. Other bloggers have offered their support (here, here, and here).

The problem with this statement is that no matter how bad it may look for a newspaper to suspend an employee for speaking about the paper's problems, private employers can -- and do -- reprimand or fire employees for their speech.  In short, with a few exceptions (such as union organizing drives), there is no First Amendment right to free speech at work.

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