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Victory in Federal Lawsuit Against New Hampshire Library That Fired State Representative for Her Political Views – Library Admits That It Violated the First Amendment.

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Victory in Federal Lawsuit Against New Hampshire Library That Fired State Representative for Her Political Views – Library Admits That It Violated the First Amendment.

So this librarian on her own time outside of work (unlike a part time coffeemaker) was fired (coffeemaker demoted) for endorsing candidates for office. She was rehired, but a lesson needed to be taught. This is where the ACLJ stepped in.

The court’s consent decree, in our case, does exactly that. First, the library is now obligated to publicly admit what it did; the order includes a statement that Arlene was terminated “because she engaged in off duty, public, expressive, political activity, outside the scope of her employment with the Library.”

Second, the library agreed to make the following public statement admitting wrongdoing:

The Dudley-Tucker Library regrets its conduct toward Quaratiello and the violation of Plaintiff Quaratiello’s constitutional rights, and will remind, in writing, all personnel to refrain from engaging in disciplinary activity that punishes the First Amendment activities of employees. The Dudley-Tucker Library and Town of Raymond will take any other actions reasonably necessary to ensure this type of constitutional violation does not occur again.

Third, the court entered an order that will ensure our client’s rights are protected in the future. This order does the following five things: (1) it declares that the termination of Rep. Quaratiello “for her political activity constituted a violation of her First Amendment rights”; (2) it orders the defendants to expunge any negative documents relating to this incident from their employee files; (3) it enjoins the defendants “from disciplining Plaintiff Quaratiello or other similarly situated employees for off-duty political speech and activity that does not occur using Library resources or time”; (4) it requires the library to “reiterate to all employees that Library policy cannot and does not prohibit employees from engaging in off-duty, constitutionally-protected political activity”; and (5) it requires an addition to the employee handbook acknowledging these fundamental rights.

The whole article can be found here.

 

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