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Court: Constitution protects religious bulletin board messages

by on
in Employment Law,Human Resources

A federal government agency’s policy barring “items of religious preference” from agency bulletin boards is unconstitutional, the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio ruled.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) prohibited an employee from posting a flier attacking the Combined Federal Campaign, a United Way charity drive, for promoting abortion, a homosexual agenda, promiscuity and New Age mysticism.

The employee, who works in DLA’s Supply Center in Columbus, bypassed equal employment opportunity proceedings to sue under the freedom of religion and speech guarantees of the First Amendment. The DLA argued that the flier would have been disruptive. The courts, unconvinced, ordered the DLA to abandon its bulletin board policy.

What this means for public employers: You don’t have to give employees access to your company’s bulletin boards, but if you do, you can’t pick and choose the messages unless they are obscene or hostile to fellow employees.  

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