Posts in First Amendment.

Jack Phillips and the state of Colorado are going their separate ways.

The Colorado baker is going on offense.

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.

Has the world gone crazy?

A. No.

B. Yes.

C. The word “crazy” is a microaggression.

ANSWER: B.

Welcome to our world! 

See how you do with these guaranteed true news items from the last week, all relating to employment law. Then tell me whether you agree that we are living in some crazy times. YCMTSU.*

*You Can’t Make This Stuff Up. (I think this cliche has earned an internet acronym ...

On the recent uproar involving a major, major employer and its recently-terminated employee:

No. 1. Is it a good idea to provide an "open forum" to employees if there are certain topics that are off limits? No. If you want to provide a forum for employees to speak up, but only "within reason," then it's a good idea to establish and communicate your limits in advance. That way, if ...

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 30 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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