A local government agency recently fired a 911 dispatcher for comments she made on social media. The federal employee made a comment on Facebook in response to the election of President Donald Trump in 2016. She states that due to this comment, her employer terminated her position as a dispatcher.
The dispatcher also states the employer has censored her political speech in the past, making her remove a Trump 2016 sweatshirt or else face repercussions for insubordination.
Dispatcher builds a case against her employer, and wins
In addition to the allegations noted above, the dispatcher also states the agency did not enforce its social media policy fairly. To this argument, she provided evidence of other employees using similar language online without repercussions. The dispatcher used this evidence to support the argument that the agency did not equally enforce a well-defined policy.
In response to these actions, the federal employee filed suit against the agency responsible for her employment, stating she was the victim of wrongful termination as the termination was a violation of her freedom of speech as guaranteed under the First Amendment.
A jury hears the case
The case was heard before a jury, who returned a verdict in favor of the dispatcher. The jury chose to award the federal employee compensation to cover missed pay as well as an award for emotional injury.
Those who believe they are the victims of wrongful termination in a similar scenario can hold their employer accountable. Contact an attorney to discuss your options.