Moving constitutional rights forward

You have the right to free speech, and you have the right to remain silent.

You have the right to choose your own religion, and you have the right to not have someone else’s forced on you.

You have the right to get together in public and protest, and you have the right to privacy.

All these rights, and more, are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. At Burnette Shutt & McDaniel, we are passionate believers and fierce advocates of these rights. We stand ready to protect yours if anyone, from a government agency to an employer, tries to take them away.

Your rights are spelled out in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution – the Bill of Rights. The 14th Amendment, which grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States, was added later.

Most Constitutional rights cases involve a government agency attempting to infringe on rights – a college that restricts what professors can write or a school that limits what students can say, for example. Those accused of crimes are protected from unreasonable searches and cruel and unusual punishment.

There also are applications for private employers. A company can’t fire a worker for political opinions or activities, for example, though they can limit such speech at the office. In South Carolina, businesses can’t discipline employees who make conscientious objections to working on Sundays.

Employees of private companies shouldn’t expect privacy at work, but they can expect certain private information to be protected. Likewise, protection against illegal searches don’t apply on the job at a private company, though there are limits on drug screening.

Though none of these situations is addressed in the Constitution, these protections nonetheless exist because of court rulings or the passage of laws. For that same reason, employees have some rights to discuss working conditions in public, between each other or on socials media.

Regardless of where you work, if you’re concerned that your rights are being violated, contact us. We might be able to help.