News & Analysis as of

Public Employees First Amendment

Take Two: The Supreme Court Again to Decide the Constitutionality of Public Sector Union “Fair Share Fees”

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

As we previously reported, in July 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided to hear an appeal of a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit regarding the legality of “fair share” fees for public...more

Fair Share Fees on the Docket at the Supreme Court – Again

by Barley Snyder on

The Supreme Court of the United States has again elected to weigh-in on the permissibility of public-sector employee unions collecting “fair share” fees from non-union employees....more

Supreme Court (Once Again) Poised To End Compulsory Union Dues For Public Employees

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

In January of last year, we noted that the U.S. Supreme Court was poised to end compulsory union dues for California teachers and other public employees. Then in February of last year, Justice Antonin Scalia died. In March...more

Supreme Court to Revisit Constitutional Challenge to Public Union Agency Fees

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Janus v. Am. Fed'n of State, Cty. & Mun. Employees, Council 31 to decide whether it is constitutional to require public employees to pay agency fees (also known as "fair share"...more

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Two Additional Employment Cases This Term

by Littler on

On September 28, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in two cases with labor and employment implications. - In the first case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31...more

SCOTUS Appears Ready To Deal Devastating Blow To Public Unions

by Fisher Phillips on

In a move that must have labor unions across the country trembling with fear, the Supreme Court today announced that it will once again take up the issue of whether public sector agency shop fee arrangements are prohibited by...more

SCOTUS to Consider "Fair Share" Union Dues by Non-Members in the Public Sector

On September 28, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it will grant certiorari in a case that will test the constitutionality of requiring mandatory payment of “fair share” union dues to be paid by...more

Ban on Officers Discussing K9 Program Violated First Amendment - Ninth Circuit Decision on Nevada State Highway Patrol Prior...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Regulating speech by government employees is difficult enough. Disciplining an employee for violations of speech policies is degrees of difficulty greater. And, imposing a prior restraint on employee speech is perhaps the...more

Public Official or Private Citizen? In Free Speech Cases, Courts Must Decide

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

First Amendment retaliation claims may be getting harder to pursue for state employees, as courts seem increasingly likely to view speech as part of the employees' roles as public officials rather than as private citizens....more

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

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