Free Speech Rights of Public Employees Under the First Amendment

Austin Anderson
Austin Anderson | Anderson & Kreiger, LLP

Austin Anderson is a senior associate with Anderson & Kreiger, LLP in Boston, Massachusetts.

On-Demand: December 19, 2022
Free Speech Rights of Public Employees Under the First Amendment

$95.00 1 hour CLE

MCLE Credit Information:

Select Your State Below to View CLE Credit Information

Can't Decide Which CLE Progam?

Access All
myLawCLE Programs
Only $395yr

Annual Subscription includes access to:
  • 500+ Live CLE Webinars
  • National Hot Legal Topics
  • New Laws and Regulations
  • State Specific Programs
  • All Formats: Live, Replay, & On-Demand
Subscribe Today
Training 5 or more people?

Sign-up for a law firm subscription plan and each attorney in the firm receives free access to all CLE Programs

Program Summary

This webinar will provide an overview of the free speech rights of public employees under the First Amendment. Public employees have limited protection against adverse employment actions based on their speech. Even when speaking as private citizens on matters of public concern, a public employee’s speech rights are balanced against their public employer’s legitimate interests in functioning efficiently. This webinar will explore how courts determine when public employees are speaking as private citizens, and the factors courts take into account to balance the employee’s speech interests against the government’s interest. It will also discuss what both public employers and public employees should consider when making decisions about when and where to speak, or to regulate speech.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Rationale for limiting public employee speech
  • Two-part test from Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006)
    • When does an employee speak as a “private citizen” versus in their role as a public employee?
    • When does the government’s interest in functioning efficiently outweigh the employee’s free speech interests?
  • Hussey v. Cambridge and other examples from caselaw – when are where do courts draw the line?
  • How can public employers and public employees navigate the law in this area in a time of increased public scrutiny and heightened political tension?

Date: December 19, 2022

Closed-captioning available

Speakers

Austin Anderson_ Anderson & Kreiger, LLP._myLawCLEAustin Anderson | Anderson & Kreiger, LLP

Austin Anderson is a senior associate with Anderson & Kreiger, LLP in Boston, Massachusetts. His practice focuses on complex civil litigation for public-sector and institutional clients; white collar defense and internal investigations; and municipal law. He has also worked on pro bono matters for clients including the ACLU, NAACP, and Greater Boston Legal Services. Austin is a 2016 graduate of Harvard Law School, and clerked for the Honorable Jon D. Levy of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine.

Agenda

I. Rationale for limiting public employee speech | 2:00pm – 2:10pm

II. Two-part test from Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006) | 2:10pm – 2:30pm

  • When does an employee speak as a “private citizen” versus in their role as a public employee?
  • When does the government’s interest in functioning efficiently outweigh the employee’s free speech interests?

III. Hussey v. Cambridge and other examples from caselaw – when are where do courts draw the line? | 2:30pm – 2:45pm

IV. How can public employers and public employees navigate the law in this area in a time of increased public scrutiny and heightened political tension? | 2:45pm – 3:00pm