Public employees are protected from being fired for exercising their right to free speech—but government agencies still have the right to manage their workforces.
Those rights may clash when a public employee complains about how she is supposed to do her job. She may think her supervisors are wrong, whilemay feel it has the right to dictate how the agency will run.
The good news is that, in most cases, the employer’s interests prevail.
Recent case: Rita Miller worked as a probation officer and was a staunch believer in rehabilitation. Her supervisors had a more jaded view. They constantly pushed Miller to crack down on her probationers to comply with the rules judges had laid out when approving their release from prison.
Miller wrote a letter to the judge presiding over the Court of Common Pleas of Clinton County, complaining about her supervisors’ attitude toward those on probation and claiming they were liars. The judge fired Miller the next day.
She sued, alleging that her letter was an exercise of her First Amendment right to free speech and that she should not have been fired for sending it.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. It looked at the content of the letter and concluded it wasn’t protected speech. It didn’t deal with matters of public concern such as corruption. Instead, the letter focused on her personal gripes as an employee. The case was dismissed. (Miller v. Clinton County, et al., No. 07-2105, 3rd Cir., 2008)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/6971/government-workers-free-speech-might-be-nothing-more-than-insubordination "