NH ACLU: Freedom Of Speech At Stake In Farmington Lawsuit
The NH ACLU has weighed in on a lawsuit against the town of Farmington. In an amicus brief filed in federal court, the organization claims Farmington subjects its employees to a social media policy that violates those employee’s first amendment rights to free speech.
The lawsuit was initiated last year by former Farmington firefighter, Alexander Morin. Farmington fired Morin in 2015, after Morin posted opinions on Facebook during off-duty hours.
The town’s social media policy bans employees from saying things that negatively affect public perception of the town. It also bars employees from disclosing information they learn on the job.
Now, the NH ACLU has filed an amicus brief in support of Morin. “These policies are patently overbroad, violate the first amendment, and they hinder government accountability,” said Legal Director Gilles Bissonnette. “An example that’s apt here is that this policy would ban an employee from exposing to the public his boss’s corruption.”
In the coming months, a judge will decide if a jury is needed to hear the case.