A Discussion Completely Divorced From The Current Crisis:
Freedom of Association is the right to come together with others to express, promote, pursue and defend common interests. The right to freedom of association has been included in a number of national constitutions and human rights instruments, including the Constitution of the State of Ohio and the U.S. Constitution.
The United States Supreme Court has held freedom of association is unconstitutionally burdened where the state requires an individual to support or espouse ideals or beliefs with which he or she disagrees (1). The Court has also recognized a constitutional right to he fundamental human right to create and maintain intimate human relationships (2).
Simple friendship, kindness and perhaps conversations over lunch are protected by Freedom of Association and the Right to Privacy. So, when the State of Ohio, acting through administrators & executives, threatens to terminate employees because of personal friendships, the State is committing gross violations of the employees' state and federal constitutional rights. Perhaps such folk should check with the appropriate Attorney General before making employment decisions on such bases.
In such a totally hypothetical case, threatened employees might keep a log of threats so later, when the time is right, they can swear out affidavits forming the basis of a massive class-action civil rights suit. And you know the awesome thing? In that fantasy world where sheeple shake off the yoke of fear and stand up for themselves, the bad guys can be on the hook personally for the harm. It's never part of your job description to void your bowels on the Bill of Rights (3). If you mess with fundamental rights, you're doing it by yourself.
(1) Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705, 97 S. Ct. 1428, 51 L. Ed. 2d 752 (1977), and Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209, 97 S. Ct. 1782, 52 L. Ed. 2d 261 (1977). (2) Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L. Ed. 2d 510 (1965); Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S. Ct. 705, 35 L. Ed. 2d 147 (1973); Carey v. Population Services International, 431 U.S. 678, 97 S. Ct. 2010, 52 L. Ed. 2d 675 (1977). (3) Vice President Dick Cheney notwithstanding.