Students protesting at a college, which is a common occurrence and a reason to understand how campus protests may affect student job opportunities.

Since students took to protesting the Vietnam War in the 1960s, college campuses have become catalyzing arenas for student activists to voice their opinions and attempt to enact change. And in 2024, over 60 years later, we are seeing this continue across the nation as students protesting the Israel-Hamas war have consumed college campuses. However, the question arises – can student involvement in such protests impact student career opportunities as graduation looms? Although students are exercising their First Amendment Rights, is there a possibility that the exercise of those rights could impact future job opportunities for students? Answering these questions is crucial to understanding how campus protests affect student job opportunities.

I recently had the pleasure of appearing on ABC-7 News to discuss the potential impact on student protestors and their future job opportunities. Let’s dive into a recap of my appearance and the potential implications these protests could have on the professional lives of students post-graduation. 

A Recap of My ABC-7 News Appearance Discussing How Student Involvement in Recent Campus Protests May Affect Student Job Opportunities

Tensions have skyrocketed nationwide as activists in support of both sides of the Israel-Hamas war have taken firm stances in protest against the conflict, which, in some instances, have even culminated in violent clashes. And many are wondering how these actions can possibly impact students and their future career goals. The issue can be complex.

The reality is that the lives people live publicly, especially with social media permeating every aspect of daily life, can be easily followed by current and future employers. Because of this, it is essential to be careful of what we do and what we post to curate an employable brand. 

When students apply for jobs, companies naturally do their due diligence when performing background checks. While screening candidates, many employers look for controversial or inappropriate behaviors that candidates may have displayed that don’t align with a company’s values. 

As a result, there is a mounting push for students who want to be vehicles for change to protest peacefully. Protestors must consider whether or not they are participating in activities that could be considered criminal, as this could have far-reaching consequences on their professional life.

How Student Involvement in Recent Campus Protests May Affect Student Job Opportunities

With more and more protestors getting arrested, this is more important than ever to consider. While free speech is protected under the law, vandalism and fighting with police are likely to be seen as crimes. However, potential employees still have some protections. 

Under California employment law, employers cannot make an employment decision solely based on an arrest. Even if a protestor is convicted, California law also states that employers cannot hold the mere conviction of an individual against them when making employment decisions. 

While there are laws protecting protestors who may be arrested or convicted during these events, it is important to remember if they are posting videos or images of themselves breaking the law on social media, this public image they put out could still influence decision-making for employers. 

In the past, such protests were documented on grainy 60mm film with poor resolution, and identifying individuals was impossible. Now, everything is shot in high definition, and employers can feed footage and images into AI tools and quickly identify participants. 

Further, when employers look into student protestors’ criminal histories during the hiring process, if it reveals that they were involved in acts of hate speech, violence, vandalism, and other general illegal activities for which they can be arrested and suspended, this could hurt their chances of getting hired. 

In fact, the repercussions of protests on student job prospects have already begun to rear their head. For example, some small businesses announced that they would not hire law students or undergraduates from Columbia University due to the protests regardless of their involvement. 

This hiring boycott is expected to extend to students who enter the university this fall. A similar blacklist was made in October 2023 when several CEOs announced that they would boycott Harvard graduates in a similar manner.

Still, if there’s one thing that has continued to prove true, it’s that our country has a short memory, and it’s too early to tell what long-lasting implications these protests could have. 

Thought Leader & Legal Commentator on How Student Involvement in Recent Campus Protests May Affect Student Job Opportunities

Social movements often impact employment law for employers and employees, and in the wake of the Columbia protests, this is abundantly clear. Understanding these recent shifts is not a luxury. It is essential for students, employees and employers alike  to understand the employment laws that protect them and how these recent events could impact their future job prospects after participating in a protest. As a thought leader and legal commentator on how the recent Israel-Hammas campus protests affect student job opportunities after graduation and all aspects of employment law, I am uniquely positioned and qualified to provide expert insight and analysis on all employment law issues. These issues can be complex, so you need a seasoned legal professional to shed light on them. My passion is being a beacon in uncertain times of transition that provides that light. 

Legal Commentary on Student Involvement in Recent Campus Protests  May Affect Student Job Opportunities and Other Breaking Employment Law News

I am a former employment and labor law attorney turned mediator, ADR, and conflict resolution specialist who believes it is crucial to stay current with groundbreaking changes to employment law for employees and employers alike. My passion is educating the general public on recent developments in employment law and the workplace trends that impact them as a thought leader and legal commentator. As such, I am uniquely qualified to discuss how the recent college campus protests could affect student job opportunities and all aspects of employment law. My more than 20 years of experience as a media legal analyst and contributor have led to my own radio show on Tavis Smiley’s KBLA Talk 1580, “Legal Lens with Angela Reddock.” I also am a regular speaker and blogger on employment law and issues related to the workplace.




Also, learn more about my book – The Workplace Transformed: 7 Crucial Lessons from the Global Pandemic – here –

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This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.

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