Concepts and Procedures in Whistleblower Law

By Stephen M. Kohn | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 4
Whistleblower Protection under
the First Amendment and the
Civil Rights Act of 1871

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the speech of federal, state, and local government-employee whistleblowers.1 The amendment allows federal employees to seek prospective injunctive relief against policies or conduct that violates the First Amendment rights of federal employees.2 The First Amendment, as applied through the Fourteenth Amendment3 and the Civil Rights Act of 1871,4 allows employees of state and local governments5 to obtain injunctive6 and monetary relief if they are discriminated against on the basis of First-Amendment-protected whistleblowing.7 First Amendment protections also apply to at-will government contractors8 and non-civil service and non tenured government employees.9

In 1968 the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment protects government employees who engage in speech on matters of public concern.10 The First Amendment protects employees who blow the whistle either publicly or privately to their supervisors.11 Whether any specific speech or disclosure of wrongdoing is protected under the First Amendment depends upon a case-by-case analysis under the rule pronounced in Pickering v. Board of Education: "absent proof of false statements knowingly or recklessly made "the" exercise of his right to speak on issues of public importance may not furnish the basis for his dismissal from public employment."12

In order for a public employee&s speech to be protected, it must

-119-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Concepts and Procedures in Whistleblower Law
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 530

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?