Social media sites have become the new “public square” where individuals share opinions and information about all types of political and societal events.  Public sector employees, as much as anyone else, use social media to post viewpoints and to participate in public debate.  Problems arise, however, when a public employee posts harsh, derogatory, defamatory, or

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in Garnier v. O’Connor-Ratcliffe that public officials violated their constituents’ First Amendment rights by blocking them from the public officials’ social media accounts that were used for official duties.

School District Trustees Block Two Parents on Social Media

In Garnier, Michelle O’Connor-Ratcliff and T.J. Zane,

In 2015, someone shot a police officer and a suspect was later arrested.  While off-duty, a SWAT sniper commented on a friend’s Facebook post which linked to an article about the shooting.  He wrote, “It’s a shame he didn’t have a few holes in him.”  An anonymous tip came in about the post, there was

Blue Collar Worker.jpgLast month, the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency overseeing private sector labor relations, issued its much anticipated decision in Karl Knauz Motors, Inc dba Knauz BMW and Robert Becker (“Knauz BMW”).  The Board held that the BMW dealership’s “courtesy” rule, which among other things prohibited employees from making remarks that were