Supreme Court: City Can’t Demote Employee Based on False Accusation
May 5, 2016
In a case with implications for municipal governments all over the country, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned earlier decisions regarding a city that demoted an employee due to an erroneous belief he violated city policy.
The employee made a civil rights claim against the City of Paterson, New Jersey after he was demoted based on an accusation that he was engaging in campaign activities, contrary to standards set in city policy.
The ruling appears to increase employer liability, since now factual errors are not defensible, and also raises questions about first amendment activities for employees.