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1. I was told by a supervisor at my job several years ago, “there is no freedom of speech at work”. He even said that goes for things said or done in off hours away from the job. I disagreed with him of course and told him employment does not cancel lawful rights. As a a person who had to represent my fellow union members in administrative hearings, I actually had the opportunity to challenge that point my supervisor made to me about off hours speech.  I won’t use names  and not going to get real specific because of the Union’s confidentiality policy, (I am still an official member) but an employee in my union was doing a periscope ( live feed social media, one of the first) at a party at his home. Some salty things were said on the feed with another employee from another union who actually called out sick to attend this person’s party. My member in this discussion under the influence of drinking called a supervisor they shared a name and how he felt about him,  Someone watching the periscope shared it to their social media account and some one else forwarded it to the supervisor. My member was suspended pending hearing  for the purposes of termination. I had to argue the point that the member was on his off hours, in his own home. They argued that it undermined the supervisor and the company could not allow it. He was fired.

       I represented him (written appeal) with the Union Lawyer to his appeal to the National Labor Relations Board. It took almost seven months but he was restored with back pay, his lawyer also secured a hefty settlement for him in civil court as he was foreclosed  on his condo. Under railroad labor law he was not entitled to unemployment for an administrative termination.  The board agreed that even though he did undermine his supervisor with another employee, there was no written policy of off duty conduct in place at the time. Subsequently the civil case said the company had no standing to regulate off duty conduct if the person was stating just an opinion. As long as he wasn’t announcing he was an employee in an official capacity undermining specific policy when he made his statement. The company tried to put out an off duty code of ethics and made it appear it was mandatory to sign but that was struck down too because it was too vague.  

2. The significance of case studies in providing us with solving workplace problems is that they serve as good examples especially to those who are new in the workplace. In the workplace, problems could often be categorized into different kinds because for certain working fields, problems tend to be the same. Under this circumstance, by studying case studies, employees could have a better understanding of the scopes of categories of the workplace problems. In the meanwhile, employees could learn from each other of the solutions to the problems as well as coming up with some more creative and better solutions to the problems. 

My personal experience takes place when I worked my internship in the language training school. Each week the sales department would hold a meeting for studying case studies and each week, the supervisor would come up with one category of problems that they will encounter in the workplace. She would show all the consultants what the problems are and how the employee dealt with the problem. Then the supervisor asks for better solutions after a discussion of the employees. Personally, I found beneficial and learned a lot from the case studies. 

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