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Police officer files wrongful termination claim

A former police officer that was fired from his job in April 2015 filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in October of that year against the department for their retaliatory actions. The former officer claims that the police launched an investigation into his personal social connections with the wife of a friend of the city manager. The lawsuit claims that if a supervisor can dictate how an employee spends his or her time in a private, social setting, then it violates his or her First Amendment rights.

Lower court rulings have sided with the former police officer, and the police department has repeatedly appealed the case.  They are now asking for "declaratory relief" in a counter lawsuit. Declaratory relief basically asks a court to rule whether certain conduct is lawful or not.

Regardless of the morals you may have about the former police officer's actions (and his behavior is certainly unsavory), you can't deny the fact that he has rights as an employee. And if all employees are to suddenly be subjected to checkups on their social lives, then that would constitute a lack of freedom and liberty in the workplace. We have rights as employees, and employers are supposed to respect that.

It will be interesting to see where the case goes from here, but the police officer is standing firm in his belief that he was wrongfully terminated and that the police department took retaliatory action against him. So far, the courts have agreed with that sentiment.

Source: Valley Voice, "Woodlake Responds to Wrongful Termination Suit by Suing Plaintiff," Catherine Doe, Sept. 10, 2017

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