Debra D’Agostino, a federal employment attorney and co-founder of
the Federal Practice Group,
was recently featured on Nextgov.com, discussing free speech protections for federal employees. Although the
Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendment of 2014 mandates that federal
officials make copies of government-related communication sent over private
emails, that does not mean they forfeit their right to free speech. “Retaliation
for protected speech is illegal,” D’Agostino stated.
Employees may be concerned that requirements to archive government-related
communication could result in retaliation, but it is important for them
to understand their speech is protected, even if it involves an expression
of discord. If, for example, a federal employee discusses work while on
a break and through a private device, that speech is protected. Even whistleblowing
is afforded some protection.
When it comes to the recent National Park Service rogue Twitter accounts
that recently sprung up as part of a budding resistance, the law can become
less cut and dry if it turns out that the owners are federal employees.
In an environment such as this, with an aggressive administration that
is steeped in volatility, D’Agostino explained, “Now more
than ever, it’s important for federal employees to know when their
communications are protected by the First Amendment and when they’re
The Federal Practice Group has a team of lawyers with over 100 years of
combined experience and are focused on maintaining strong client-attorney
relationships. The legal rights of federal employees are unlike the rights
of private sector employees and, as such, you will need an attorney who
understands the inner-workings of federal agencies and their administrative
processes. Our firm can provide the exceptional legal counsel you need
to address your case professionally.
Call us today for a case evaluation at (888) 488-1774.