• Posts by F. Damon Kitchen
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    • Recognized in Florida Super Lawyers
    • Recognized in the publication, Best Lawyers In America
    • Successfully defended cases in all areas of labor and employment law, including, but not limited to: claims of unlawful discrimination ...

The freedom of speech afforded by the First Amendment is remarkably broad. Several categories of speech, including even “hate speech,” are afforded varying degrees of protection.

However, the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment is not without limits, even for public sector employees. Governmental employees who voice their opinions — even on matters of legitimate public concern – are well served to choose their words, as well as the times and forums in which they communicate those words, very carefully.

Just ask Michael Todd Snipes, a former law enforcement captain for the Beach Safety and Ocean Rescue Department in Volusia County, Florida. Capt. Snipes was fired for making racially insensitive comments on his Facebook page and in group text messages sent to several of his fellow officers.

In freedom of speech cases, the context in which a thought or idea is communicated often matters a great deal. Although there is never a good time to make racially insensitive remarks, Capt. Snipes’ timing was particularly ill-considered.

Damon Kitchen
Damon Kitchen

Whether justified or not, the recent spate of high-profile police shooting cases throughout the United States has brought national attention to the issue of whether law enforcement officers should be using body cameras while on duty. Currently, a debate rages among the various stakeholders concerning the pros and cons of body cameras.

Those in favor of body cameras ...

NOTE FROM ROBIN: This is the second and final installment in a series on the law regarding patronage dismissals in public sector employment by Damon Kitchen, head of our public sector industry group.

Damon Kitchen
Damon Kitchen

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 ...

NOTE FROM ROBIN: This is the first in a two-part series on the law regarding patronage dismissals in public sector employment by Damon Kitchen, head of our public sector industry group. Damon, welcome to the blog! 

Damon Kitchen
Damon Kitchen

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 ...

Robin Shea has more than 20 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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