Keeping Politics Out of the Office: First Amendment Considerations for Public Employers In the Age of Social Media
By: Taryn Haumann As we approach another hotly contested presidential election, Americans are frequently turning to social media to share their political ideologies or engage in debates. In the weeks leading up to the election, as well as the days immediately following, employers could see conflict arise in the workplace relating to their employees’ postings…
Insurance Requirements and First Amendment Rights of Freedom of Speech and Assembly
By: Jessi Samford and Bill Linkous There is no doubt that the world as we know it has changed dramatically this year, and the protests and marches amidst the global pandemic have been in the forefront of recent news. While some protests have focused on broader awareness campaigns of injustice and inequality, others are geared…
Section 1983 First Amendment Retaliation by Litigation: SOL without PC
By: Brent Bean “When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” – Thomas Jefferson In a case of first impression in the Eleventh Circuit, the Court held that in a Section 1983 First Amendment retaliation claim premised on the filing of a civil lawsuit, probable cause will generally…
Can Silence Be Bought as Part of a Settlement of a Use of Force Claim?
By: Jake Loken Can silence be bought, especially of those who claim excessive use of force? The City of Baltimore thought so, until the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said otherwise. In Overbey v. Mayor of Balt., No. 17-2444 (4th Cir.), decided July 11, 2019, the Fourth Circuit found that public policy and First Amendment rights…
Supreme Court Revisits Interplay Between First and Fourth Amendments
By: Wes Jackson Imagine you commit a minor crime and an officer approaches you. The interaction goes south when you call the officer a “pig” and remind him that your tax dollars pay his salary. He then arrests you. Were your constitutional rights violated? That’s the question the Supreme Court considered Monday, November 26, 2018…
Supreme Court Ends Compulsory Union Payments for Government Employees – So What’s Next?
By: Brad Adler & Matt Weiss On Wednesday June 27, the United States Supreme Court reached a landmark 5-4 decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 wherein it ruled that the Constitution’s First Amendment prohibits public sector unions from collecting fees from non-union members. While the scope of the impact…
Philadelphia's “Salary History Ban Law” Gets Banned!
By: John McAvoy More than a half-century after President JFK signed the Equal Pay Act, the gender pay gap is still with us. Women earn 79 cents for every dollar men earn, according to the Census Bureau. What will it take to bridge that stubborn pay gap? Well, some believe we can and will reduce the…
Who Can Lobby?
By: Allan J. Hayes Most businesses are subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations. The business value at stake from legislative and government regulatory intervention is huge: about 30 percent of earnings for companies in most industries, according to a 2010 study by McKinsey & Company, and higher still in the banking sector, where…
Qualified Immunity and The First Amendment – Why Plaintiffs Continue To Struggle Proving “Clearly Established Case Law”
By: Bradley T. Adler and Will Collins The recent Eleventh Circuit decision Gaines v. Wardynski, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18276, No. 16-15583 (11th Cir. Sept. 21, 2017), is a good reminder of the importance and value of qualified immunity as a defense to litigation in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (federal appeals court covering…
Fourth Circuit Voids NLRB Posting Rule
By: Anthony Del Rio Last week the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) 2011 poster rule. The rule required employers to post information regarding employees’ rights to organize under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The Fourth Circuit is the second appeals court to strike down the…
Eleventh Circuit Says No to ACLU's Standing on Ten Commandments Monument Challenge
By: Dana Maine
The Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion last week which clearly delineates elements of standing in First Amendment symbolic speech cases. In American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Inc. v. Dixie County, Florida, decided on August 15, 2012, the Eleventh Circuit concluded that the trial court
Extreme Limits of Protected Speech for “Symbolic” Nudity?
By: Sun Choy
A Portland judge recently ruled that a man who stripped naked at an airport to protest TSA screening is not guilty of indecent exposure charges, because “symbolic” nudity is protected free speech under Oregon law. As reported by The Portland Mercury, “the judge determined that [the defendant’s] derobing was a