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How Employers Coerce Workers

April 5, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Demonstrators stage a protest near the U.S. Supreme Court building, on the anniversary of the Citizens United decision, in Washington, January 20, 2012. Under the banner 'Occupy the Courts,' organizers expect thousands of people to rally on Friday at 150 courthouses to mark the second anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that protesters say allows unlimited corporate campaign donations. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST) - RTR2WKZP

There’s a little-known consequence to Citizens United: employers can now legally require their workers to participate in politics, and fire them if they refuse. The 2010 Supreme Court decision gives companies the right to campaign inside their firms and in the public arena – and technology gives them the ability to track their employees’ political views. The result? In addition to using monetary capital to influence politics, corporations can now use human capital too, often against the participants’ will. Professor Hertel-Fernandez’s forthcoming book explores how this coercion threatens not only workers’ freedoms, but our democracy as a whole.

Location forthcoming.


Alexander Hertel-Fernandez is assistant professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University. He studies the political economy of the United States with a focus on organized interests, government, and social policy. His writing has appeared in American Prospect, Democracy Journal, the New York Times, Salon, and more, and his first book, Politics at Work, will be published in spring 2018.


April 5, 2018
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Charlotte Rutty