Are Protesters’ Jobs Protected Under Free Speech?

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After the Charlottesville incident Saturday, it didn't take long before some of the White Nationalist rally members were identified online.

For example, one man was recognized as Cole White, an employee at the Top Dog restaurant in Berkeley.

At first, it was believed that White was fired because of his political beliefs, however, the restaurant is now saying he resigned.

"It's not a First Amendment or free speech issue," said attorney Jeff Kravitz.

Kravitz says if White was fired he may have had a legal case even though he was an at-will employee.

"Being an at-will employee means you could be fired just because your boss doesn't like you. However, you can't be fired for a reason that violates public policy," Kravitz said.

California labor code says that an employer may not "control or direct the political activities or affiliations of an employee."

Meaning that the business could have fired White, but if it was known that they fired him because of his political beliefs, that would be illegal.

Kravitz says the case of the University of Nevada, Reno, student who also was identified as participating in the rally is a completely different story. There is nothing the school can do.

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