Justices Put Target On Employer Motives In Free Speech Suits

By Jeannie O'Sullivan (April 26, 2016, 9:41 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Tuesday that an alleged victim of workplace retaliation can pursue a First Amendment claim based on the mere perception that he was engaged in a constitutionally protected activity exposes employers to greater liability over their motives in free speech suits, experts say.

(Credit: Law360) With a split ruling that allows perceived bias to support a free speech claim, the justices handed a victory to Jeffrey Heffernan, a now-retired Paterson, New Jersey, police officer who claimed he was demoted when his boss saw him holding a campaign sign supporting the incumbent mayor's political rival.

The extension of...

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