The Free Speech Rights of Off-Duty Government Employees

59 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2013

See all articles by Mary-Rose Papandrea

Mary-Rose Papandrea

University of North Carolina School of Law

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The Court’s jurisprudence with public employee speech rights leaves unclear what standard applies in cases where employees challenge government action taken in response to their “off-duty” expression. There remain so many flexible and undefined aspects to the multi-step inquiry the Court has fashioned for determining the scope of employee speech rights. When is an employee speaking as a “citizen” and not an “employee”? What is a matter of public concern, and is that inquiry even relevant in the context of off-duty expression? What speech is “work related”? How do we value the employee’s interest in engaging in her expression? How do make sense of the endless reasons government employees can give for wanting to suppress or punish that expression?

Suggested Citation

Papandrea, Mary-Rose, The Free Speech Rights of Off-Duty Government Employees (2011). Brigham Young University Law Review, Vol. 2010, No. 6, 2011; Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2222212

Mary-Rose Papandrea (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States

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