Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Free Speech

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Free Speech

Article excerpt

An at-will employment relationship is a relationship that may be ended at any time by either the employer or the employee--for any reason or for no reason at all. A Cheyenne, Wyoming, newspaper publisher exercised its right under this relationship when it fired two managers for refusing to wear antiunion buttons during a labor organizing campaign. The irony of a newspaper that advocates free speech terminating two employees for their exercise of that right did not go unnoticed by the Wyoming Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the court upheld the firings and ruled that the publisher did not violate the law in terminating the managers.

The case, Drake v. Cheyenne Newspapers, Inc.,(9) arose in 1993 when the publisher launched a campaign to resist the efforts of the Communications Workers of America to organize the company's editorial employees. As part of its antiunion drive, the newspaper required each member of its managerial staff to wear a button bearing the word union with a slash through it. Kerry Drake and Kelly Flores told the newspaper company that they could not, in good conscience, wear the buttons. …

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