Under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, governmental actors are prohibited from “abridging the freedom of speech … or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” S. Const. Amend. I.
Rights of Public Employees
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, public employees are afforded a statutory right of action to recover monetary damages for the deprivation of their First Amendment rights.
Thus, the First Amendment prohibits the government employers from retaliating against employees for their protected speech. This same principal applies where the protected speech was made by a person in a close relationship with the public employee, such as a spouse.
If you believe that your public employer has violated your First Amendment rights, please contact an employment lawyer at Weiner & Sand LLC to discuss your First Amendment rights.