Friday, December 27, 2013

Connick v. Meyers case brief

Connick v. Meyers case brief summary
461 U.S. 138 (1983)

Plaintiff employee contended that defendant employer wrongfully terminated her because she exercised her right of free speech. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed an order reinstating the employee. The employer sought review by certiorari.

After an employee was notified that she was being transferred, she distributed a questionnaire to staff members. Her supervisor told her she was being terminated because she refused to accept the transfer.


  • The court held that the employee's discharge did not offend the First Amendment. 
  • The questionnaire was an employee grievance concerning internal office policy. 
  • The questions posed in the survey were not matters of public concern. 
  • The purpose of the questionnaire was to precipitate a vote of no confidence in the supervisor. 
  • The functioning of the supervisor's office was endangered, because the employee exercised her rights to speech at the office. 
  • The limited First Amendment interest involved in the case did not require the supervisor to tolerate action which he reasonably believed would disrupt the office, undermine his authority, and destroy close working relationships.

The judgment affirming an order that reinstated an employee was reversed.

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