Can Government Employees Criticize the Government?

View Newsletter in Browser to Governing Magazine & Newsletters on Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn FEATURED COLUMN Can Government Employees Criticize the Government? BY KATHERINE BARRETT & RICHARD GREENE Can government employees be legally fired for criticizing the government? It’s a question that many federal workers are asking as they look for ways to express opposition to their new boss but keep their jobs. During the presidential campaign last year, one survey found that 95 percent of federal workers’ donations went to Hillary Clinton. Now they find themselves working for President Donald Trump, the candidate they tried to beat. Some are attending workshops. Others are refusing to implement orders they don’t agree with. Many are airing their grievances in public and on social media. This kind of uncertainty isn’t limited to federal employees. People on state and local payrolls struggle with similar issues all the time. In fact, the dilemma is so complicated that the U.S. Supreme Court has revisited the debate several times — most notably in 1968 and again in 2006. KEEP READING>> MORE MANAGEMENT NEWS & COMMENTARY States Struggle to Close Their Own Gender Pay Gaps Public employment is subject to stringent transparency rules, anti-discrimination laws and standardized pay rates. Despite these safeguards, disparities persist. Despite Union Resistance, Right-to-Work Momentum Is Growing Several states have already passed right-to-work laws this year. From $37 to $339,000: Why the Price of Public Records Requests Varies So Much The laws about public records differ from one government to the next and are further complicated by some technologies, like police body cameras. The Secret Benefits of Sharing Government Services They may not show up in the bottom line. Seattle Triples Its Paid Parental Leave for Public Employees The city was one of the first in the country to offer the benefit. Amid 2 Years of No Budget in Illinois, 1 Thing Is Certain: State Workers’ Paychecks The debate was decided in court. Public Pensions and the Siren Song of Environmental Activism Retirement funds are being urged to sell off their investments in traditional energy producers. That’s bad for retirees, and it wouldn’t help the environment. The Promise and Perils of ‘Moving the Boxes’ Reorganizing a government’s agencies and services — whether consolidating them or breaking them up — isn’t easy. There are some important things to keep in mind. Are Civil-Service Rules the Enemy of Employee Engagement? There’s a striking pattern among the states, and it suggests that we need to take a new look the systems that govern public workers. Governments Are Upping Their Professional Development Game It’s a win-win: Employees grow their careers and the public sector grows, or at least maintains, its workforce. ENJOY THIS NEWSLETTER? Governing has 10 others delivering news and commentary on a wide range of topics straight to your inbox. SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE TODAY Unsubscribe″ > | Opt out of all e.Republic email | Privacy Statement © 2017 e.Republic. All rights reserved. 100 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, CA 95630. Phone: 916-932-1300