News & Analysis as of

Public Employees First Amendment

Yes, Neo-Nazis At Charlottesville Can Be Legally Fired From their Jobs

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

First, let us start by saying that we are saddened by the tragic and violent events that occurred in Charlottesville over the weekend. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of Heather Heyer, Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds Termination of Public Employee for Social Media Comments

A politically divided nation can mean a politically divided workplace. While employers generally hesitate to react to employees’ expression of political views, some comments viewed as extreme, threatening or inconsistent with...more

Public Sector Employees in Three States Sue to Nix Fair Share Fees

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

Four Pennsylvania school teachers, two Santa Clara Valley Medical Center pharmacists, and three New York school workers have filed separate suits challenging the constitutionality of state requirements permitting the unions...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Police Department's Social Media Policy on First Amendment Grounds

Most of the recent legal controversy over employer enforcement of social media policies has involved employees’ concerted activity rights under the National Labor Relations Act. However, a recent case from the Fourth Circuit...more

New Legal Challenges to Public Union Agency Fees

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

Public employees in three different federal circuits filed lawsuits this week challenging the constitutionality of public unions' right to require nonmembers to pay agency fees (also known as "fair share" fees). The...more

Policing Social Media Policies

by Sands Anderson PC on

Police officers in Petersburg had a First Amendment right to post to Facebook their complaints about their police department. A department policy limiting social media postings was unconstitutional. So held the U.S. Court...more

Shock the Monkey: Police Officer Photo Post on Social Media Costs Him His Job

When is a “joke” so not funny that you lose your job? The Mississippi Court of Appeals gave some direction on that question, affirming the City of Meridian’s termination of a police officer for an inappropriate (arguably...more

Having Election News Withdrawal?

by Ward and Smith, P.A. on

Supreme Court Decides Case on Protected Political Activity in Public Employment - Some of us may have had enough of all things election by now. But the United States Supreme Court decided a case last April that...more

See You In Court! - December 2016

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

The last game for the Nutmeg Knights couldn’t come fast enough for veteran Nutmeg Board of Education member Bob Bombast. A defensive tackle on the legendary 1984 team, Bob bleeds Nutmeg persimmon and gold and attends every...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – November, 2016

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

Dear Legal Mailbag: Last week, we had three teachers “take the knee” during the playing of the National Anthem at a whole-school pep rally. Fortunately, only a few of the students noticed their actions. Originally...more

Did You Know…SCOTUS Ruling on Personnel Decision based upon Perceived Political Affiliation Impacts Public Employers

by Nossaman LLP on

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on a matter involving “perceived affiliation”, bringing clarity to the matter, where the circuits provided discordant rulings. As a result, personnel actions based upon even mistaken...more

There’s a new Sheriff in town: The politics and pitfalls of patronage dismissals (Part 2 of 2)

In last week’s installment, I provided an introduction to the issue of patronage dismissals in the public sector, and a discussion of the Supreme Court’s Elrod (1976) and Branti (1980) decisions. In this installment, I’ll...more

There’s A New Sheriff In Town: The Politics And Pitfalls Of Patronage Dismissals

It’s election season, and each year, like the dead leaves that fall from the trees, many loyal and long-term employees of vanquished incumbents face the prospect of getting cashiered once the newly elected officials, or their...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Section 1983 First Amendment Retaliation Claim Not Necessarily Precluded By Age Discrimination in Employment...

by Littler on

On August 5, 2016, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not preclude a First Amendment retaliation claim under section 1983 of the federal Civil Rights...more

There Are Limits to Connecticut’s Employee Free Speech Law

It has long been recognized as a matter of federal constitutional law that public employees cannot be deprived by the government of their right to freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment, even though the government...more

Supreme Court Extends Public Sector Employees' First Amendment Rights

by BakerHostetler on

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

California Teachers Seek Rehearing Before Full U.S. Supreme Court Regarding Constitutionality of “Agency Shop” Fees for Non-Union...

by Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP on

Attorneys for the Plaintiff California public sector teachers in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association have taken the extraordinarily rare step of petitioning the Supreme Court for a rehearing, and have...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

Demotion Based on Mistaken Belief Deprives Public Employee of Constitutional Rights

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Case Involving Political Campaigning Accusations - A government agency violated the constitutional rights of an employee who was demoted based on the mistaken belief that he violated the...more

But I Didn’t Mean To! U.S. Supreme Court Says Employer Intentions Govern in First Amendment Retaliation Case

For government employers, disciplining and terminating employees can be especially difficult. Not only does the public employer face the same challenges in complying with the standard alphabet soup of employment laws that...more

Employment Practices Newsletter - May 2016

by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP on

Department of Labor's Persuader Rule Convinces No One - The Department of Labor's controversial Final Rule on Persuader Reporting became effective April 25, 2016. The Rule significantly strengthens a union's rights under...more

April 2016: Five Biggest Labor And Employment Law Stories

by Fisher Phillips on

The world of labor and employment law is always rapidly evolving. In order to make sure that you stay on top of the latest developments, here is a quick review of the five biggest stories from last month that all employers...more

Public Employer May Not Retaliate Against Employee Based on Perception that He Engaged in Political Activity

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court held that a public employee could sue his employer for retaliation where the employer demoted him for engaging in constitutionally-protected political activity, even though the employer was...more

Supreme Court Expands First Amendment Protections For Public Employees

by Miller Canfield on

On April 26, 2016, the United States Supreme Court ruled that when a public employer demotes an employee out of a desire to prevent that employee from engaging in First Amendment protected activity, the employee can challenge...more

Supreme Court: Government Employer’s Incorrect Belief About Employee’s Activity Matters in First Amendment Analysis

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

A government employer can violate an employee’s constitutional rights by acting based on incorrect information that, if true, would violate the U.S. Constitution, even though the employee was not actually exercising his or...more

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