Free Speech

California Law Limiting Private Employers' Restriction on Employee Speech

applied by a federal court in a case involving Juul Labs.

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I've written about this statute before, most recently with regard to the employee allegedly fired for being at the (she says) non-riot protest that led to the Capitol riot. (See also this 2012 article of mine discussing such statutes throughout the country.) But Wednesday, Judge Edward M. Chen issued an interesting decision about the law arising in a different context. From Hamilton v. Juul Labs, Inc. (N.D. Cal.):

Plaintiff Marcie Hamilton worked at Juul … as its Director of Program Management. Plaintiff Jim Isaacson served as JUUL's Senior Director of Design Assurance …. This [Private Attorneys General Act] suit is brought on behalf of more than 3,000 aggrieved employees….

[Plaintiffs'] Claim 7 is brought under Labor Code § 1101, which forbids employers from adopting any rule, regulation, or policy which: (a) "[f]orbid[s] or prevent[s] employees from engaging or participating in politics or from becoming candidates for public office" or (b) "[c]ontrol[s] or direct[s], or tend[s] to control or direct the political activities or affiliations of employees." It is also brought under Labor Code § 1102, which provides that no employer shall "influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity."

Labor Code §§ 1101 and 1102 are "designed to protect the fundamental right of employees in general to engage in political activity without interference by employers." The purpose of these sections is to prevent employers from "misus[ing] their economic power" to interfere with their employees' political activities, namely their "espousal of a candidate or a cause." …

The provisions of the [Juul External Communications Policy] … exhibit the strict control over Juul employees' political opinions which the Labor Code forbids. Section 6.4.6.3 provides "[a]ll JUUL Labs Personnel must be aware that any communication about the Company or its products, staff, policies, research, relationships, or competitors generally constitutes a Company Communication and is covered by this Policy." Section 6.2.1 provides "[a]ll Company Communications must receive internal approval," and Section 6.2.2 provides "[c]onfidential information, any information marked or intended only for internal communication or use within the Company, and any other information obtained during the course of employment must not be disclosed or used in any Company Communication or personal communication without prior approval."

Together, these provisions operate to place prior restraints on Juul employees' communications about any matter related to the company, including their espousal of causes relating to vaping products. The ECP thereby interferes with the opinions of Juul employees' in a manner that violates the Labor Code ….

Juul's day-to-day policies and practices are just as restrictive. Plaintiffs allege that "JUUL's Non-Contractual Policies and Practices … establish that JUUL made, adopted, and enforced a policy that prevented employees from engaging in political activity in violation of Labor Code § 1101 and 1102. This illegal policy is evidenced by JUUL's written instruments, employee training, and JUUL's culture of concealment." For instance, Juul instructs employees "that they cannot—among other things—correct political candidates spreading alleged 'misinformation' about JUUL, 'engage with youth on the topics of tobacco and nicotine,' 'engage in social media,' discuss vaping, cigarettes, drinking, or any age-restricted products in the 'earshot of youth,' share or laugh at JUUL Labs-related memes, or help a young family member quit smoking."

Accepting these allegations as true and drawing all reasonable inferences in Plaintiffs' favor, the Court finds that these allegations state a plausible claim for unlawful suppression of protected political activities …. Even without the ECP, these policies and practices operate as a prior restraint on Juul employees' espousal of a candidate or a cause. These policies and practices prevent Juul employees from promoting (or even engaging with) a political candidate, and they prevent employees from engaging with vaping-related causes on the internet…..

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  1. It seems like the government gets Juul coming and going. If they restrict employee speech on vaping-related subjects, it violates the California Labor Code. If they let employees counsel minors about switching from cigarettes to vaping, or comment on the health benefits of vaping vs. cigarettes, the feds could come down on Juul for promoting the product among youth or for making unauthorized health claims.

    1. The kids could always use some medical marijuana to overcome their nicotine addiction.

    2. I think the key wording there is “company communications”

      If Juul employees counsel minors on their own time about vaping, that should be allowed. If they do it as official company communications, then it’s Juul’s responsibility.

      1. They better hope the state and the feds are on the same page as to how to draw the distinction.

  2. It’s controversial that an employee of a company is not allowed to speak for the company? Especially a company that manufacturers a highly regulated product?

    They’re not being denied political affiliation or speech. They’re being prevented from speech, about a product or confidential information related to their employment (probably protected by whistleblower laws if they disclose illegal activity), that could cause the company to violate state and federal laws.

    1. The kicker is the “Personal communications” clause

      It’s not that Juul employees can’t speak for Juul. It’s that they can’t talk about literally anything related to their job to anyone at anytime. That’s the bridge too far.

      1. “[c]onfidential information, any information marked or intended only for internal communication or use within the Company, and any other information obtained during the course of employment”

        This seems more relevant to me. Juul can certainly tell their employees that they cannot disclose company information.

      2. It’s like a university telling a professor that he can’t provide college advice to a family member in high school.

  3. When does the private life of an employee begin and his / her relationship to their employer end? I remember hearing a story about a brewery worker who was fired for drinking Coors while working for Budweiser or maybe it was the other way round. Regardless, is there any party that wants to protect the private lives of employees from employer oversight? The libertarian position seems to be “bend over” but I guess you could always start your own business. That is you could try to start a business until someone on Twitter calls it racist / sexist / homophobic / etc…

    1. I heard when America had an auto industry one did not drive a foreign car into the parking lot of a union factory in Michigan. Or at least not twice.

      1. Nah. They just stuck you in the far corner of the lot, a quarter mile from the door. At least that’s what GM did.

        1. Which is asinine because (when you included the subcomponents) the imports often were more American made than the “American” cars, a lot of which were made in Canada.

          1. Currently the most made in America car is Toyota.

      2. Funny story. A friend of mine was a lobbyist in the 1980’s and took a job with the Michigan legislature. He was coming from the Boston area and had a Datsun truck (a foreign brand that was actually pretty reliable at the time for those who have no memory of the 80’s…also domestic cars were pretty terrible during this time frame with most rusting out and falling apart after only a few years of ownership…) So, he moves to Michigan and starts working the next day. One of his first assignments is to go to a Ford plant to meet some executives. He drives there in his truck (of course) and when he goes to the parking lot guard is given a “special” pass. Assuming it was because he had a VIP meeting he thought nothing of it. When he came out he noticed someone had been nice enough to “rebrand” his car by taking off any Datsun insignia anywhere on the car. Later that day, he drove to Ohio (trading in a foreign in Michigan was impossible) and bought himself a Chevy at the request of his boss.

      3. I’d imagine driming a Ford to work at a GM plant wasn’t terribly well received either.

        1. Anything built by thr UAW is jake.

    2. Some Mom who talks about ways to get babies to sleep just got cancelled on instagram because she dared to donate about $1,000 to Trump’s campaign. If it isn’t clear to people where this is going they better start waking up soon.

      1. So it’s even more obvious that so many conservatives were being dishonest about principles like ‘people should have the freedom to refuse to do business with people with views they disagree with’ they put forward in the cake and flower shop cases, instead it was really all about hating teh gays…

        1. Two differences:

          (1) The cake case involved force of law by the govt.

          (2) The cake baker was above board about what he would and would not do. (Which is not what you say, either. He did not refuse to do business with gays, he just refused to use his talents to create something that conveyed a message he disagreed with. He would have baked them a Happy Birthday cake, for example.)

          Is Instagram willing to publicly admit that access to its cite is determined, in part, by one’s political position? The equivalent of “No Republicans and Dogs wanted here.”

          1. “Is Instagram willing to publicly admit that access to its cite is determined, in part, by one’s political position?”

            Is the Volokh Conspiracy?

            Are conservative-controlled campuses willing to publicly and forthrightly state their positions on censorship (academic freedom, conduct codes, speech codes, research restrictions, hiring discrimination) . . . and have those positions considered by accreditation authorities?

            1. What evidence do you have that those campuses are not straightforward about what their institutional positions are on those issues, or have deviated from their stated positions?

              1. I have not observed an accredited school to declare that it suppresses science and reason to promote superstition and dogma; or that it teaches nonsense to flatter superstition and dogma. I also am not aware that any conservative-controlled school expressly states that it requires applicants for basketball coaching, landscaping, cafeteria, or motor pool positions to (1) espouse certain opinions or (2) refrain from stating certain opinions. Any pointers in that regard would be welcome.

                1. This web site has helped tackle several private schools not living up to their boilerplate devotion to free expression. Probably because of your complaints.

                  What’s your beef, soldier?

                  1. This web site, like the conservative advocates with which it cooperates, incessantly attacks strong, liberal-libertarian, mainstream campuses for perceived offenses against freedom of expression.

                    It also provides an undeserved free pass to conservative-controlled schools, most of which are censorship-soaked, nonsense-teaching yahoo farms.

                    Similarly, it censors liberal-libertarian commenters while acting the matador for conservative commenters.

                    All of which it is entitled to do. Just as I am entitled to mention partisan hypocrisy and low-grade, principle-deprived conduct.

            2. OMG, Get off that damned hobby horse of yours. No one cares what you think about an unknown set of colleges.

          2. (1) The cake case involved force of law by the govt.

            Shouldn’t the lack of government coercion make this a more acceptable case? All you have here is people exercising their First Amendment freedoms of Free Speech and Free Association to disassociate from someone and say why. If you object to people having the freedom and discretion to do this, then you’re an asshole.

            (2) The cake baker was above board about what he would and would not do.

            Uh, no? Like every other anti-gay butcher, baker, and candle-stick maker, the guy’s refusal to treat a gay customer the same as a straight customer was only reveled when a gay person showed up. Up until that point he had no problem letting his customers think he wasn’t a homophobic bigot.

            Is Instagram willing to publicly admit that access to its cite is determined, in part, by one’s political position? The equivalent of “No Republicans and Dogs wanted here.”

            Seeing as Cara Dumaplin has over a million followers on Instagram, I think you’re making some rather spurious assumptions here.

            And even if she does lose a significant number of followers over this (and there’s no evidence yet that she will), that won’t be Instagram’s fault.

            That is to say… what would you have Instagram do? Instagram is not her problem. Her followers, and them not wanting to support her, is her problem. Blaming Instagram, which has taken no action against her, is more then a little odd.

            1. “Shouldn’t the lack of government coercion make this a more acceptable case?”

              Bingo.

          3. Is Instagram willing to publicly admit that access to its cite is determined, in part, by one’s political position? The equivalent of “No Republicans and Dogs wanted here.”

            The problem is that you are mistakenly relying on Jimmy the Dane. Her account is active on Instagram; they have not restricted her access.

            Indeed, this sounds more like clickbait/advertising for her. There was allegedly a campaign against her that (according to one story) was so impactful that “Since the news of Dumaplin’s donations broke, she lost 25,000 followers, including some well-known peers in the parenting influencer community, between Jan. 20 and 24.” Okay, except that she has 1.3 million followers on Instagram. So 25,000 isn’t even a drop in the bucket.

        2. Queen Amathea, the gay wedding cake was the same thing as requiring GM to produce a purple car with pink polka dots.

          1. You do realize that if you have to lie to support your point, then your point isn’t based on truth, yes?

            Even Phillip’s lawyers dropped that “I sell wedding cakes, not gay wedding cakes” nonsense.

          2. Court explicitly said otherwise in it’s opinion, Ed.

            Law isn’t what you think it ought to be.

        3. Of course, QA, we forgot that you can read minds.

          1. Y’all scream bloody murder whenever a person/company is boycotted for “liberal” reasons, but try to be coy with “well, that’s their right…” when a person/company is boycotted for “conservative” reasons.

            So no, no mind-reading necessary. Just pattern recognition and memory that goes beyond a single news cycle.

      2. This is the expected level of accuracy for Jimmy the Dane. She was not “cancelled on Instagram,” as anyone can see by taking the crazy, radical step of going to Instagram and seeing her account.

    3. That is you could try to start a business until someone on Twitter calls it racist / sexist / homophobic / etc…

      You do realize that only works if your customers agree with the assessment, and think poorly of you for it, right?

      If your customers don’t care or don’t believe that you’re an awful person, then you’re dandy as candy.

      1. That’s an awfully native idea. Customers come and go, and they’re a lot less likely to come if a business has been vilified. Unless one has a very close relationship with all of one’s customers, some are likely to be swayed by third party denunciations. The number who will be swayed may vary, but that some will be swayed is almost certain.

        1. Call me when Chik Fil A actually goes out of business.

          Fact is, “cancelling” only “works” when it’s over something that’s universally reviled by the customers. And seeing as sexism, racism, homophobia, antisemitism, and so-on aren’t universally revilved, trying to “cancel” someone on the internet for such things just doesn’t work.

          If it’s a local place that relies on foot traffic? Then if it’s something that local community is strongly against it might work. But the internet? Sorry dude, but no internet business is going out of business for being full of deplorables.

          If it’s a single person, and that person’s employer thinks the actions are deplorable? They might get fired. And probably hired by some white knight who’s all “how dare you fire Dave for saying women don’t deserve the vote?!”

          All of which is to say… not naïve, just paying attention.

          1. In my (non-backwater) community, Chick-fil-A benefits greatly from narrowcasting — enough customers are especially attracted to a menu of Jesus Chicken and Bigot Waffle Fries to create a profitable business.

            1. Filthy bigotry again from a usual source.

              1. I like how Nico is offended by this but I guess fine with Aktenturd’s misogynistic trolling below.

                1. QA,
                  You never can avoid mind-raping. RAK is a sickening troll. You’re just enabling bad behavior with such posts.

    4. Anybody that drinks Budweiser or Coors should be fired, due to lack of ______. Both companies make crappy beer. Very Crappy beer!

      1. Budweiser tastes as it does because consumers want and purchase that product. If Anheuser Busch determined it could increase its market share by one-third of one percent by changing the recipe, the new beer would be on shelves within a few months.

        Everyone should get the chance to taste Coors Light from the piglet, before packaging.

  4. “[c]onfidential information, any information marked or intended only for internal communication or use within the Company, and any other information obtained during the course of employment must not be disclosed”

    Instead of striking it down as overly broad, apply the canon of ejusdem generis to narrow the meaning of “any other information”.

  5. In other news, Beryl Howell, an Obama appointed “judge,” denied bail to one of the protesters, and used the histrionics you see from teenage girls.

    “Howell made clear she believes the crowd was trying to thwart the federal legislative branch from carrying out its duties.
    “We’re still living here in Washington, DC, with the consequences of the violence that this defendant is alleged to have participated in,” she said.
    “Just outside this courthouse … are visible reminders of the January 6 riot and assault on the Capitol,” the judge said, noting that she can see National Guard troops from the window in her chambers in the courthouse.”

    1. Seems like an appeal is in order if the denial of bail isn’t based on factors such as: will they commit the offense again, are they likely to skip bail or run, are they a danger to others.

      Instead it seems the judge wants to punish the accused prior to being found guilty because the judge feels the attack on a personal level. I’d also say that would provide grounds for requesting the judge recuse from those cases.

      I agree that folks who broke the law actively should be prosecuted. That prosecution however should still be equitable and fair. The sentiments this judge is giving seem charged with emotion prior to the accused having been found guilty. This causes a problem with the presumption of innocence. If the judge wants to be emotional about it, do so once the accused is found guilty.

      1. Agreed. This woman should read U.S. v. Salerno and learn what SCOTUS has said about pretrial detention.

        1. Part of the problem is the media has conflated and inflated the capitol hill event completely out of proportion to suit its narrative building goals. If they would publish what actually happened – about a million people concerned about the integrity of our elections held a mostly peaceful protest demanding accountability from their elected representatives – none of this would be happening.

          1. I’m sorry but this is bullshit. Yesterday, a million people went to the bank; most of them were there legally to transact business, but one of them brought a gun and robbed the place. So what does the media do? It blows out of all proportion that there was ONE bank robber, while ignoring the fact that almost all of the people who visited the bank that day were there for legal and peaceful purposes. Obviously the media has a hidden agenda.

            1. That is a horrible analogy but if you have to grasp at straws to try to cover up media bias, that is probably all you have got, right?

              1. It’s more than your original comment deserved.

                1. Pro tip – if the best that you got is nothing, it is better to just post nothing.

                  1. So why do you continue posting?

                    1. Because I made my point quite well. So well that no one has tried to directly refute it.

              2. It’s a horrible analogy in that it was thousands of bank robbers, not just one. And the person being denied bail is accused of being one of the bank robbers, not one of the million other people.

            2. It would depend on what the media reported. If they reported that a bank robbery occurred, you would be right. If they reported that there is a danger of bank robberies, that respect for property is on the decline, and that we need to crack down on civil liberties as a result, then you would be wrong.

              1. But you can’t look at January 6 in isolation; that was the end product of weeks of Trump lying about the election being stolen and whipping up his followers into a lather over it. And years of various conspiracy theorists convincing the gullible that only heavily arming themselves will protect them from big, evil gummint; that politicians they disagree with are traitors; and that governance is theirs as a matter of right. This has been a long time in the making.

                And I fear that Trump, like the sorcerer’s apprentice, unleashed dark forces that are now out of control and that the worst is yet to come. He’s too stupid and self-interested to see anything beyond his own interests, so he probably doesn’t know or care, but that’s what he’s done. I’d love to be wrong about that, but I don’t think I am.

                1. “Trump unleashed dark forces….”

                  Well at least now we are getting some consistency. He was investigated during so many witch hunts, but maybe those were actually on the right track. HE REALLY IS A WITCH! Burn him!

                2. True – you cant look at one event in isolation – such as the one peaceful BLM and/or antifa protest while ignoring the multitude of riots

          2. Just a peaceful protest to thwart democracy based on laughable theories concocted to soothe their cult leader’s fragile ego. No biggie.

            1. George Floyd????

              1. George Floyd was dead, not soothed. Also, the aim there wasn’t to thwart our democracy but instead to stop police shooting people so much.

                1. They don’t shoot people “so much.” They rarely shoot anyone, and 95% of the blacks they shoot were terrible people. In any case, George Floyd wasn’t shot at all, although it’s too bad the pregnant woman he shoved a gun at didn’t shoot him.

                2. Oh yeah they created the cult based upon a dead guy so he wasn’t able to enjoy the celebrity status in this life.

    2. Perhaps instead of the current sham impeachment proceedings, just another installment of the long line of witch hunts the Democrats have engaged in during the last four years, maybe this judge this be put on trial in front of the Senate.

      Now that it is cool to impeach whoever, for whatever reason, I expect more of this when the Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022.

      1. Disaffected, deluded, vanquished right-wingers are among my favorite culture war casualties.

        And the core of the Volokh Conspiracy’s following.

        You get to whine about all of this damned progress as much as you like, clingers, but you will continue to comply with the preferences of your betters. Sounds like a sad way to live.

      2. “for whatever reason”

        Yeah, when a Democrat encourages a mob to thwart the result of the next Presidential election go nuts.

        1. Does is bother the Volokh Conspirators that so much of their audience consists of gullible, nonsense-spouting, bigoted people?

          Or is that their aim?

          (Fills by John McFee, more than just another Doobie — Van Morrison, Mike Bloomfield, Steve Miller, Huey Lewis, the occasional stray Stone.)

    3. That’s not histrionics, that’s facts. Guess you haven’t been to DC in a while or OAN doesn’t show footage…

      1. The national guard is there not because there’s a real threat, but for theater, so you leftists can say “See? Look what you meanie conservatives made us do.”

        1. It’s there because there was a violent insurrection recently and lots of threats of more from your type.

          1. You really don’t know what an insurrection is. We have seen portions of cities taken over for days by a violent mob. No complaints from you, QA.

    4. You can always spot the non-lawyers because they are shocked by judges being dramatic.

      Except they are shocked each time, even after a long time reading this blog.

      Which makes me think maybe they are not shocked at all.

      1. I’m a lawyer, and I’m not shocked by any drama that comes from women. Which is exactly why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote, much less be judges.

        1. Aktenbergy78, I try not to respond to you because, well, you’re just so over-the-top repulsive.

          But I do feel the need to ask this one question… is there any kind of bigotry you don’t fully embrace in your disgusting hate-filled arms? Perhaps puppies are safe from your loathing? Maybe you don’t kick puppies?

          1. Bigotry, by definition, is irrational. Everything I believe is based on truth and reason.

  6. It’s one thing to fire for general political activities, and another to fire someone tearing at your company. Why should people be forced to fund their detractors?

    I find it hard to believe the latter was the intent of the law.

  7. “I’ve written about this before, most recently with regard to the employee allegedly fired for being at the (she says) non-riot protest that led to the Capitol riot. ”

    Holy crap you realize there is videotape of the protest which was not violent at all. Once again very clownish

    1. Is your issue with the ‘non-riot protest’ language, or with the assertion that the protest lead to the riot, which is well documented.

      1. What you are describing sounds like a mostly peaceful protest to me.

        1. Absent all the people streaming over barricades, through the windows, beating police officers, vandalizing the premises, etc., etc., yeah, mostly peaceful.

          1. “streaming over barricades, through the windows, beating police officers, vandalizing the premises”

            Sounds like every mostly peacefull BLM riot last summer.

            1. Conservatism seems built solely upon to quoque lately.

              1. Actually, belief the authorities would look the other way no doubt may have contributed. Or “they got to do it, so we are justified, too.”

                Note I am not agreeing with either incidents, but that could have contributed. Just a guess…

            2. Libs will never own their extremists. Those are always either just ignored, excused, or explained away as the exception.

              1. Conservatives don’t own their extremists, they mainstream them. It’s the non-extremists that are rare, derided as RINOs of course.

                1. “One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist”….

                  To you anyone left of Marx is a “right wing extremist” and this is why no one one the right cares what you think.

                  1. One man’s conspiracy nut is…someone most Republicans would follow!

            3. Sounds like every mostly peaceful BLM riot last summer.

              No, it doesn’t. You know this, you just don’t care. Because you are not a serious sort of person, and neither is Jimmy.

              1. So says the guy who gaslights everyone (including here) trying to deflect from the fact that the capitol hill event looked like a walk in the park compared to the violent BLM riots the media spent an entire summer either not covering or just plain covering up.

                1. A walk in the part aiming to thwart our democracy…

                  1. Na sometimes a walk in the park is just a walk in the park. That is all that happened on the 6th. Anything else is disingenuous gaslighting.

              2. Because you are not a serious sort of person

                Doc Holliday
                “It appears that my hypocrisy knows no bounds.
                /Doc Holliday

              3. Part of why you are not serious people is that you don’t engage with my comment on Bob’s…factual inaccuracies, just call me names and move on.

                1. “Bob’s…factual inaccuracies”

                  Nothing I said was false.

                  You want us to accept your framing that these were peaceful protests, but its not true. We all saw the violence, ranging from broken windows to burnt police cars to building fires to looting.

                  1. mostly peaceful BLM riot are not analogous to what happened on the 6th.

                    And your continuing to conflate the riots with the protests does you no factual favors.

                    1. If Sarcastro wants to be honest (which he doesn’t want to be) he would just come out and and say hat this is a riot (or insurrection or whatever) because it was Trump supporters. But he won’t be honest because he apparently still has some kind of guilty conscious.

                    2. Ah yes, Jimmy. If I were honest, I’d say I was lying this whole time.

                      You really have problem understanding that there are people who don’t agree with you, don’t you.

                    3. You keep on calling what was rather orderly civil disobedience a “riot” or “insurrection” and it was neither. By the criteria that has been set by precedent this was definitely a mostly peaceful protest. You call it something else though because you seek political gain and at the rights of activists exercising their First Amendment rights. That is pretty disgusting. So, care to be honest for once?

                    4. I’ve linked sources, and made arguments.

                      You just contradict.

                      Declaring victory is very much in your vein, but you haven’t earned it.

          2. You forgot about the unarmed activist that was shot by the police. Making that extra special was the press telling us it was all her fault she got shot. Yeah….that happened….

            1. Yeah, it’s not clear her death was necessary, which sucks. But she wasn’t a protester or activist, but was part of an insurrection at that point, so there’s a good amount of assumption of the risk here that you’re eliding.

              1. Yeah still not an insurrection. Saying it a bunch of times doesn’t make it true you know, right?

                1. They call it an “insurrection” so they can take political advantage.

                  1. Now the rioters that set up an autonomous zone right next to a state capital and announced law would no longer be enforced there, that is an insurrection.

        2. I don’t know that a peaceful protest that lead to a violent insurrection is a thing.

          “non-riot protest” seems pretty good language to describe the pre-violence part of that to me.

          1. There was no “violent insurrection” stop calling it something it was not.

            1. And there was no “Civil War”, just the “War of Northern Aggression”, amiright?

            2. It was violent, and it was targeted at both the institution and function of our democracy, so maybe you’d better go back to your ‘it was all Antifa’ arguments of last week.

              1. There was some violence and some of that was indeed anti-fa (like the guy who got arrested for being a known antifa agitator who was operating under the guise of “photo journalist”…) but the entire event was definitely mostly peaceful. Quit it with the gaslighting. We all know it was just an activist event that the media didn’t like so they told a bunch of lies about it.

                1. Again, all the people storming through broken windows indicates how mostly peaceful it was. And I like how Jimmy elides that it was intended to thwart the democratic transition of power. Of course, democracy isn’t valued by most Trumpistas at all, so that’s probably why.

                  1. There was no attempt to overthrow any government. You know this. Stop it with the lies.

                    1. They were using violence in an attempt to make Trump the President in contradiction to the vote.

                      It does not matter that they were sincere in their delusions, nor that they had a viable strategy; that’s an insurrection.

                    2. You are just lying again. There was no serious attempt to “stop the vote” or make Trump dictator. You are just making stuff up because you have nothing when called out on your BS.

                    3. There was no serious attempt to “stop the vote”

                      Unless you read *any* of the journalism, or the charging documents, or listen to any of the witnesses, or listen to Trump’s speech.

                      Your bare denials are looking less and less like you mean them.

                    4. More Sarcastro gaslighting…

                  2. “We broke into the Capitol…we got inside, we did our part. We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the friggin’ brain but we didn’t find her.” — Dawn Bancroft, arrested in Pennsylvania today

                    https://twitter.com/ryanjreilly/status/1355282121699565568

                    1. You are familiar with hyperbole right? Or do you take every single statement ever made at face value?

                    2. You’re not being serious, if you’re claiming that’s sarcasm.

                    3. Well if it were an actual insurrection they probably would have actually found Pelosi and did something about it. But nothing happened then a few costumed characters took selfies and then everyone left.

                2. It’s a pretty bad move to try and take the whole 6th is one event, in order to call it ‘mostly peaceful.’ Because taken as one event, it was a violent insurrection. Like the proverbial barrel of wine and teaspoon of sewage, so too an event that includes even a little attempt at violent overthrow of the government. See also ‘other than that how was the play, Mrs Lincoln?’

                  Now, I think it’s fine and good to separate the events; this recognizes that not everyone was there to violently take over the gov, some were indeed peacefully showing support for the guy who was down a bit of overthrow that if it kept him in office.

                  But you are going for all or nothing, and that’s how you manage to acquire a barrel full of sewage.

                  Now, as QA noted, you did not engage with the substance of my comment about why this fit the definition of an insurrection. Care to try again?

                  1. “It’s a pretty bad move to try and take the whole 6th is one event, in order to call it ‘mostly peaceful.’”

                    I agree – but note that is more or less the inverse of what you were saying about Portland last summer.

                    Tangentially related, Cliff Mass has a post out – “Political Violence is Always Destructive” – that hits the nail on the head. It’s just not OK, by anyone, for any reason.

                    1. No, last summer I was quite clear that there were protests, and there were riots. And the protests were mostly peaceful.

                      People here still disagree with that formulation. And yet…

                  2. There was no attempt to overturn the government. You are just plain lying now. Stop it.

                    When you have protesters setting up something called an “autonomous zone” next to a state capital and the protesters announcing the general law of the land not being valid in that zone, now that is an insurrection.

                    Just be honest for once and stop the lying and gaslighting.

                    1. They came with plans to use violence to overturn the vote. A peaceful transfer of power is core to our government; they wanted to make it neither peaceful nor a transfer.

                      And then the rest is off topic.

                    2. Who is “They”? What “Plans”?

                      Most people in the building did nothing but take selfies and look around. Podium Guy wasn’t trying to overthrow anything, he was just fooling around.

                    3. Bob – what Sarcastro is using is really code for what he is really trying to say which is “The Jews” and that is sad…

                    4. They are the people who invaded the Capitol and injured 140 of the police guarding the place.

                      You’re in a crowd that stabs a cop with a flagpole, you don’t get to pretend you’re on a lark.

                    5. You are again equating the happenings of a few and convicting the lot. Just be honest for once and say you have got nothing here other then bias to call this even a riot. It was a sit in, college style, and when you are dealing with mass civil disobedience sometimes things happen. According to all the civics education we got this summer that is just part of the price we pay for having a participation driven democracy.

                      What happened was a mostly peaceful event especially judged by the standards as given to us by all the recent activism. Any attempt to make it something else is just lies, lame lies.

                    6. No, Jimmy. Those who didn’t invade the Capitol were peaceful, if dumb as hell, protesters.

                      The invasion was not peaceful. It was not something that could have been mistaken for peaceful.

                      Rioters ripped down fences, threw all manner of objects at the police including flags, bottles and metal poles from said fences, scaled the stairs and climbed scaffolding. While photographing the scenes unfolding, Millis heard chants of “1776” over and over again. Millis described that the police on that line did not have gas masks on, so often they were getting pepper spray from their own spray, and being pepper sprayed by people in the crowd.

                      “I’ve never seen such sustained violence between law enforcement and citizens that wasn’t ended earlier by lots of teargas and less lethal munitions,” Millis said.

                      The chaos did not halt. Inside the breached Capitol, the insurgents broke into congress’s offices, scaled the senate chamber balcony, carried the Confederate flag throughout the halls, looted a podium, and vandalized the House chamber.

                      https://fortune.com/2021/01/08/capitol-riot-dc-photos-pictures-what-happened-trump-supporters-maga/

                      You break that cordon, you are not innocent.

                    7. Law and order all the sudden now ‘castro, eh? Earlier this summer you were downplaying officers who were shot with fireworks.

                      Civil disobedience is rarely “peaceful” but it can be mostly peaceful. And that is what we had here. Activists that had to raise the visibility of their issue due to censorship by Big Tech and media. That is all that happened and really it was the fault of those who engaged in censorship that it even had to come to that.

                    8. What I posted is pretty different from fireworks, chief.

                      Activists that had to raise the visibility of their issue due to censorship by Big Tech and media. That is all that happened and really it was the fault of those who engaged in censorship that it even had to come to that.
                      Your claims get less and less serious.

                    9. Silenced people want to be heard. Information wants to be free. How about you start owning up to the causes of things you create especially if you guys want to talk about how bad they supposed were…

                    10. Also I just had a LOL moment with the list of your parade of horribles.

                      “The chaos did not halt. Inside the breached Capitol, the insurgents broke into congress’s offices, scaled the senate chamber balcony, carried the Confederate flag throughout the halls, looted a podium, and vandalized the House chamber.”

                      1. “Broke into” offices that were just unlocked and regularly receive visits. Yeah…OK…
                      2. Scaled a balcony….that is obviously the crime of the century right there.
                      3. Carried a flag….oh wait it was a confederate flag!!!! I heard some also wore shirts with logo and hats with saying! Avert thine virgin eyes!!!
                      4. Looted a podium….BLM emptied out entire commercial districts over the summer and no one seemed concerned about that. But now a podium deserves a death sentence.
                      5. Vandalized the House chamber…I did have to look this one up. Supposedly someone left a nasty note and there was some trash. That was the extent of the “vandalism”.

                      This is why no one takes you and your gaslighting serious. You are a joke and continuing with your endless lies isn’t going to help your cause any.

                    11. They wanted to stop the process of changing administrations. And they were willing to kill politicians to do it. You’re just repeating stuff I’ve refuted now.

                      It’s interesting how even the left fringe is willing to say that there were riots and looting over the summer, but asserts that they were not essential to the actions of the summer.

                      The right, by contrast, both here and elsewhere, is unwilling to declare even that. It was a nonviolent stroll through the Capitol, *everything* was sarcasm and civil disobedience, except for Antifa. Also lets never talk about the 6th, and just deflect deflect.

                      While neither is going to be objective, the asymmetry between the willingness to interface with reality between the two sides is striking.

                    12. “There was no attempt to overturn the government.”

                      I think you’re wrong there – some of the individuals have indeed said they wanted to overthrow at least the election.

                      I don’t think there was a remotely credible coup attempt, any more than if I put out a blog post that I’m in charge now and will henceforth be enforcing a policy of jus primae noctis. We don’t have to believe everything delusional whackos say.

                      Similarly, the CHAZ folks actually put out a ‘Declaration of Independence’. While they were marginally more successful – they actually held their ‘territory’ for a couple of weeks instead of a few hours, everyone knew they were going to be cleared out as soon as the city government pulled their head out.

                      But it’s not wrong to say both were attempts at revolution. Lame ones, with the same odds of success as when Joshua Norton declared himself ‘NORTON I, Emperor of the United States’, but attempts nonetheless.

                      (youtube channel ‘thehistoryguy’ has a great video on Norton I …his reign lasted almost 20 years!)

                    13. You complaining that no one will concede to your horribly conflated and inflated version of the capitol hill event is evidence of nothing other than you being a fool.

                      One guy saying “let’s overthrow the government” is not evidence that what went on was an actual attempt to overthrow the government. Nothing that happened that day suggests there was some conspiracy to do so. Absolutely nothing. The best you can do is cherry pick some hyperbole by a few individuals and say “there someone said something so obviously that is what everyone was doing.” And that is all you have which is why the rest of are just lies and sheer exaggeration (such as equating parading a flag as some sort of violent act).

                      I’m willing to talk about the capitol hill event, but only with people who want to be honest and treat the happenings of that day by the same rulebook all the BLM riots, looting, and violence were judged under. You don’t get to have two sets of rules and you don’t get to apply two sets of rules.

                      Until then I suggest you take some time to think about why it is not a good idea to marginalize and censor people. We heard a lot about that back in May, the riots were just marginalized people expressing their frustration. And that is what you got on the 6th as well. A large group of people who were unjustly censored and frustrated. That is why they came by plane, train, bus, and car to DC because they wanted to be heard. Do you think a million people from all over the country just did so, on a weekday mind you, because it sounded like a neat idea? No it was because the Left created the hostile environment and this was their natural response to it. Unite and be heard. And that is what happened. If that was BLM we wouldn’t hear the end of it in the media about how we ought to listen. But because the media elite don’t like their message they get dissimilar treatment and are cast as criminals.

            3. They love making stuff up and telling stories.

  8. To the actual article, the problem, as always, is one of “where do you draw the line?”

    Firing an employee that’s bad-talking your business? Even if they’re doing it on their own free time, it’s obviously not ethical to obligate a business to retain someone who undermines them. So some degree of “fired/disciplined for off-duty activities” is always going to acceptable, even if you try to make it illegal.

    For that matter, even if the employee isn’t bad-talking your business, you might still have strong disagreements with what they’re doing. Would Juul have been justified (morally/ethically, if not legally) in firing an employee who was arguing (in their own free time) that the smoking age should be lowered, allowing them to sell to kids? Again, what judge/jury is going to say “yeah, how dare you discipline an employee for trying to make it legal to sell death sticks to kids?!”

    What about personal matters? Can you fire an otherwise ideal employee for sleeping with your wife? For dating your daughter? For divorcing your daughter?

    So while I can agree that, to a degree, companies should not be interested in their employee’s private lives, I also think that the broadest laws against such interest go too far.

    Consider my hypothetical comic-book shop. I could have an ideal employee, works great, no complaints. Then one June, while attending the local pride parade, I see him with a sign that says “All Fags burn”, and screaming about how gay people are going to hell, and that we’re abusing our kids. You think there’s a judge/jury in California that’s going to give him a victory when I fire his homophobic odious ass on Monday? He could argue that it was based on his “religion”, he could argue it was based on his “politics”. But the simple fact is, if that’s the way he feels, then I don’t want him anywhere near me, and I will not pay him to be near me. And any law that says I’m obligated to do so? Is an unethical, immoral, and almost certainly Unconstitutional law.

    So there is room for worker protections. But they cannot be absolute.

    All that said, it does sound like Juul went too far.

    1. I think this is more of a cultural issue then a legal one. The reason why cancel culture goes after places of employment is because they buckle so easily. The second businesses start saying “no we aren’t doing that anymore” the mob will move on.

  9. Open wider, clingers. You have no choice but to toe the line established by your betters.

    Losing has consequences. As does being bigoted, superstitious, gullible, disaffected Republicans.

    1. Typical RAK verbal vomit.

  10. I am from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Juul dominated the market and then gave into the US Gov’t and stopped all production of flavour pods. Anyone know what their strategy was?!

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