Free Speech First Amendment

News & Analysis as of

Politics in the Workplace: What Must Employers Allow?

Everyone has experienced both "workplace politics," in which Type A employees claw their way to the top at the expense of co-workers, and "politics in the workplace," in which employees discuss candidates for office and...more

Justices Receive Another Petition on Surcharge Laws

Could the U.S. Supreme Court take up the issue of state surcharge laws? The plaintiffs challenging the Texas law banning surcharges on credit card purchases certainly hope so, having filed a certiorari petition in Rowell v....more

ERISA Fiduciary Rules: Court Challenges and Considerations for Employers

Employers and their financial advisors should consider enacting a multi-step plan amid anticipation that the proposed ERISA Fiduciary Rules turn effective. Last month, several business groups filed a complaint in the...more

Wyoming Prohibits Trespassing For Resource Data Collection: Might Massachusetts Follow?

In a fascinating case, Judge Scott Skavdahl (who recently struck down BLM’s fracking regulations) dismissed challenges from NRDC and PETA, among others, to a Wyoming law that prohibits trespassing on private land for the...more

Employers Get a Break on Disclosure of Union Organizing Efforts and Advice: Texas Court Blocks Implementation of the DOL’s...

In this blog, we have previously covered the United States’ Department of Labor’s controversial efforts to effect a significant change to the so-called “Persuader Rule,” a regulation first proposed by the United States...more

Judge Puts Brakes on Department of Labor’s “Persuader Rule”

The United States Department of Labor issued regulations earlier this year finalizing the “Persuader Rule.” Under the new Rule, employers and consultants (including lawyers) would be required to report labor relations advice...more

Do as We Say, Not as We Do: Government Agency (Deliciously) Exempts Itself—and the Rest of the Government—From the TCPA

Happy Independence Day! While you were off barbecuing and lighting fireworks this weekend the FCC’s staff was feverishly working to give Uncle Sam a birthday present—free reign to robocall your cell phone! That’s right,...more

Seventh Circuit Cuts Through First Amendment Forum Jargon and Issues Robust Defense of Free Expression

Like many cities across the country, Fort Wayne, Indiana raises money through advertisements that it sells on the inside and outside of the buses it operates. And like many cities, Fort Wayne has a number of regulations on...more

DOL “Persuader Rule” Put On Hold . . .For Now

Earlier this year, we discussed the new “persuader rule” from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The new rule required employers to publicly disclose their hiring of labor relations consultants—including attorneys—who...more

Trade secrets law in the Internet age

How do you maintain a trade secret in the Internet age? As in the punch line to an old joke, “VERY CAREFULLY.”...more

Judge Issues Nationwide Injunction on DOL Persuader Rule

A Texas federal judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction this week barring the Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its Persuader Rule, which was set to take effect on July 1, 2016. This is the second federal...more

What’s Going On With The Mann v. National Review Appeal?

In November 2014, this intrepid blogger trooped down to the DC Court of Appeals to watch the Mann v. National Review oral argument. In my post, I wrote that the panel was likely to conclude that the denial of an anti-SLAPP...more

Texas Judge Blocks DOL 'Persuader' Rule With Temporary Injunction

Opponents of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) controversial “Persuader” Rule received their first major victory yesterday from United States Senior Judge Sam R. Cummings in the U.S. District Court for the Northern...more

DOL's 'Persuader' Rule Blocked By Texas Judge

A Department of Labor rule requiring employers to disclose when they hire lawyers and consultants during union organization campaigns has been at least temporarily put on hold. On June 27, 2016, a federal district court...more

Don’t Mess With Texas: Lubbock District Court Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Blocking DOL’s Changes to the “Persuader” Rule

Employers and trade associations breathed a collective sigh of relief today after Lubbock District Court Judge Sam R. Cummings entered a nationwide injunction preventing the DOL from enforcing its changes to the “persuader”...more

Federal District Court in Texas Blocks New DOL Persuader Rule

Last week, we reported that a federal district court in Minnesota determined that the new Department of Labor (DOL) persuader rule likely is unenforceable because it conflicts with the Labor Management Reporting and...more

Texas District Court Issues Nationwide Injunction Blocking the Department of Labor’s Persuader Rule

On June 27, 2016, the District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction enjoining the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Persuader Rule, 81 Fed. Reg. 15924.  In reaching this conclusion, the court...more

North Carolina Cyberbullying statute struck down as unconstitutional

On February 9, 2012, Robert Bishop was arrested and charged with one count of cyberbullying under the North Carolina Cyberbullying statute, which states that it is “unlawful for any person to use a computer or computer...more

Private Bankrolling of Defamation and Privacy Suits

The New York Times recently reported that famed Silicon Valley investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has been secretly bankrolling “Hulk Hogan’s” (real name Terry Bollea) invasion of privacy suit against Gawker Media....more

Supreme Court Extends Public Sector Employees' First Amendment Rights

A public sector employee may now have a First Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim even where the public sector employee has not engaged in protected First Amendment political activity. This may be the case if a public...more

Cooling hot political buttons

During every political campaign, I am reminded of the notion that if we speak about our co-workers or subordinates in the manner in which the American voter speaks about political candidates, we should expect some remediation...more

TCPA Under Scrutiny in Court and by Senate

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and a 2015 omnibus Declaratory Ruling and Order (2015 Order) interpreting the TCPA issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have recently faced additional challenges...more

School Restriction on Decorating Graduation Cap Upheld

It is graduation season and issues concerning graduation conduct and dress come to the forefront during this time of the year. A recent decision by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma...more

Amarin Pharma Comes Out on Top in Federal Case Involving Freedom of Speech

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received another blow to its ability to regulate pharmaceutical product marketing that was dealt via a court order stating it is not in the agency’s purview to control promotional...more

Misread Signs: U.S. Supreme Court Finds Employer’s Mistaken Belief about Employee Supports Retaliation Claim

Is it still retaliation if your boss fired you for something you didn’t actually do? In Heffernan v. City of Paterson, New Jersey, the U.S. Supreme Court said yes—your boss’s mistake does not get him off the hook for the...more

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