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Could your political opinions get you fired?

Posted at 6:02 AM, Aug 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-21 14:10:28-04

Around the state, many people are worried President Donald Trump's visit will lead to scenes like the ones we saw in Charlottesville, Virginia

Besides the violence, people then began sharing photos of people in the crowd; identifying them, then posting to social media. That lead to rumors that at least one person had been fired or forced to resign from their job who was in the crowd in Charlottesville.  

But, even if you are not part of a hate group, like a white supremacy organization, your political affiliation alone puts you at risk for being fired by your employer.  

"I don't think it happens very often, but when it does it gets reported on because it sort of conflicts with our fundamental idea of the way things should be in this country," said Phoenix attorney and director at Fennemore Craig John Balitis.

Balitis sat down with ABC15 and explained that the First Amendment and freedom of speech is protected from the government, but it does not protect you from your boss. 

"Workers by and large in the private sector don't have any right to freedom of expression," Balitis said. "They have to understand if they belong to a group like this and the employer discovers that they may suffer the consequences." 

If an employer does not believe your views align with the company or is a distraction, they can fire you - no questions asked.

"For some employers, the mere fact that the person was there and was identified with one side or another was enough to bring the employer to the point of separating from the worker," Balitis explained. 

This also includes postings on social media accounts. 

Balitis said there are things that you are able to protest without fear of repercussion, but that only includes things related to the workplace itself, such as wages, hours and working conditions.