You have many rights as government employees to protect you against unfair demotions or discharges or curtailments of your vested health or pension benefits. You also may have right to avoid payment of public employee union dues if you not a union member.
The First Amendment protects your right to speak or associate without employment retaliation by the government. For example, in most cases you cannot be prejudiced because of your membership or support for a political party, or because of ideas or complaints you have communicated to the media or to outsiders. You cannot be fired or demoted or given an adverse performance rating simply because you are a Republican or Democratic or Libertarian or Green Party member. There are exceptions for taking an active role in political campaigns.
You cannot be fired or demoted for speech that is unpopular with co-employees or in the community unless it directly impairs job performance.
Civil rights laws may also protect you from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability, or pregnancy. There are both federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws. In many cases, you may be requried to exhaust internal personnnel or administrative remedies before you may be entitled to file suit.
If you are accused of some type of misconduct, you are ordinarily entitled to some type of evidentiary hearing conducted by an impartial officer to discredit the government’s evidence before any adverse personnel action is taken against you.
In this era of austerity, several governments have been seeking retroactively to slash vested pension or health benefits for employees. You may have rights to prevent such financial havoc in your retirement expectations under the United States or State Constitutions or statutes.
Mr. Fein is available for consultation or representation if you believe your rights as a government employee have been violated.