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Heffernan v. City of Paterson

Articles Discussing Case:

Supreme Court Rules Against Employer in Political Speech Case

XpertHR • May 03, 2016
The Supreme Court has ruled that a police officer demoted because his employer mistakenly believed he was campaigning for the mayor's political opponent may file suit for monetary damages. In Heffernan v. City of Paterson, the Court ruled 6-2 that the employer's action violated the officer's First Amendment rights.

Supreme Court: Government Employer’s Incorrect Belief About Employee’s Activity Matters in First Amendment Analysis

Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 01, 2016
A government employer can violate an employee’s constitutional rights by acting based on incorrect information that, if true, would violate the U.S. Constitution, even though the employee was not actually exercising his or her constitutional rights, the U.S. Supreme Court has held in a 6-2 decision. Heffernan v. City of Paterson, No. 14-1280 (Apr. 26, 2016).

Public Employer May Not Retaliate Against Employee Based on Perception that He Engaged in Political Activity

Franczek Radelet P.C • May 01, 2016
On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court held that a public employee could sue his employer for retaliation where the employer demoted him for engaging in constitutionally-protected political activity, even though the employer was factually mistaken about the employee’s actual involvement in the activity.

Perceived Political Expression Protected By First Amendment, Supreme Court Says

Fisher Phillips • April 27, 2016
In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court today held that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects both actual and perceived political speech and expression by public employees. The unsurprising decision squares with decisions from several lower appellate circuit courts, and should serve as a warning sign for public sector employers. Heffernan v. City of Paterson.

Supreme Court Will Hear Public Employee Free Speech Case

XpertHR • October 08, 2015
As the Supreme Court began its new term, it added an intriguing employee political speech case to its schedule. In Heffernan v. City of Paterson, the Court is being asked to decide if the First Amendment bans a public employer from demoting a police officer based on his superior's perception that the officer supported another political candidate.