The Washington Post

Supreme Court case will affect public employees who testify

(Karen Bleier/AFP-Getty Images).

Does the First Amendment protect public employees from retaliation when they testify about workplace misconduct?

That’s a question the Supreme Court is grappling with in a case in which a state employee claims he was fired for testifying about “one of the most egregious public corruption situations in Alabama’s history,” as the state’s attorney general has described it.

Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes explained in an article on Monday that:

“What seems like it might be an easy question is complicated, though, when government acts as employer. In previous rulings, the court has said that public employees have free-speech rights when they are acting as citizens, not when they are testifying to what they learned in their jobs or are required to speak about because of their specific duties. summarizes the case.”

Read the entire article to learn more about a case that impacts millions of public employees at all levels of government.

MORE: Fired public employee tells Supreme Court his Constitutional rights were violated

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks(at)washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, and The Fed Page for more federal news. Submit news tips and suggestions to

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.



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Josh Hicks · April 29, 2014

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