Arkansas Business Interviews Labor Attorney About Hate Groups & Job Protection

Wayne Young spoke to Arkansas Business's Mark Friedman about the legal ramifications of terminating an employee who participates in rallies involving hate groups. 

Excerpt from "Employment Law: Firing Employees Who Participate in Hate Group Rallies"

Arkansas Business: Do protesters who appear in photographs and are tied to white nationalist groups have job protections? Could they be fired if their employer sees them in a photo?

Young: Arkansas is an at-will employment state, which means either the employer or the employee can end the employment relationship for any reason so long as the reason is not illegal. It would generally not be illegal to discharge someone because of off duty conduct the employer found objectionable.

There are exceptions, however. One exception would be a discharge for off duty conduct that is legally protected. An example might be where an employer fired an employee for attending a religious observance on his day off because religion is a legally protected category under discrimination laws.

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Wayne is a partner in the firm and a member of the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. He was named the 2017 Russell Gunter Legislative Advocacy Award Recipient by the Arkansas SHRM. The award recognizes outstanding contributions of time and effort in local, state or federal legislative advocacy on behalf of the Human Resources profession. 

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