“The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is beside the point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech.”
– Anthony Kennedy
The Constitution prohibits a government employer from discharging or demoting an employee because the employee supports a particular candidate.” Heffernan v. City of Patterson, 578 U.S. ___ Slip Opinion 3 (Jan. 19, 2016).
“When an employer demotes an employee out of a desire to prevent the employee from engaging in political activity that the First Amendment protects, the employee is entitled to challenge that unlawful action under the First Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1983….” Heffernan v. City of Patterson, 578 U.S. ___ Slip Opinion 3 (Jan. 19, 2016).
Sadly, government employee speech is protected only in certain time and places. When you speak, where you speak, and how you speak matters! When filling out your form, tell us the time and place you expressed your concern about government activity and who was in the room listening when you were talking and what you said, and how you campaign for your candidate.
There are many ways for government employees to assert First Amendment rights. Tell us what happened with the Who, What, Where, and When and one of our attorneys’ will respond to your inquiry and personally discuss your case.