How Far do Employee Rights Go?

By Richard Nelson


May 14, 2018

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Do employees have a right to wear clothing that promote political messages? Even if those messages violate the beliefs of the business owners? That's the question that's making state news. An Elizabethtown coffee shop owner asked one of his employees to not wear T-shirts with a political message. The T-shirt depicted two megaphones and the words, “Just Us For All: LGBTQ Advocacy creating change through community." The owner said it wasn't appropriate for work. So the Kentucky Fairness campaign is protesting the business. The states largest LGBT rights organization says this why a Fairness Ordinance needed.  But such laws end up turning the workplace into a political battleground over LGBT rights and it could force employers to promote messages they disagree with. And that's not fair to anybody.


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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center