Posts tagged Public Sector Employment.

No legal authority to issue its Enforcement Guidance!

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 another post from our Public Sector Industry Group. Welcome, Ray!

Ray Poole
Ray Poole

During this election season, we thought it would be timely to bring up what are commonly referred to as “resign to run” laws.  So-called "resign to run" laws require that before an elected official may run for a different (usually, higher) office, he or she must first resign from ...

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 ...

Clocks.flickrCC.JessicaQuirkBill McMahon, my law partner and next-door neighbor, has a good analysis of the Supreme Court's recent decision in Green v. Brennan, in which the Court found that the time for filing a constructive discharge claim under Title VII starts to run from the date that the employee tenders his resignation, not the date of the last discriminatory act by the employer.

It's not that bad for ...

*President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act into law on Wednesday afternoon. Billy Hammel, Bill McMahon, and Anna Rothschild have provided outstanding analysis of the law and what it means for employers in this Client Bulletin.

*And, speaking of Billy Hammel, he had a great blog post this week on the White House Report on Non-Compete Agreements. (Preview: The White House isn't ...

Federal protection for trade secrets, "suitable seating," inadvertent labor trafficking, Uber's status as an employer -- whew!

Be sure to check these out if you haven't already:IMG_20111008_124300

*Billy Hammel of our Austin Office and Bill McMahon of our Winston-Salem Office (and my next-door neighbor), with Anna Rothschild of our Washington D.C. Metro Office, are digging into the federal Defend ...

Big news for employees and employers in North Carolina -- the General Assembly enacted a bill on Wednesday (signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) within hours) that was primarily intended to preempt a certain high-profile municipal "bathroom" ordinance. (More on that in a sec.) But included in the bill is a provision that eliminates the wrongful discharge/public policy cause of ...

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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