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Employee's first amendment rights violated by employer

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The first amendment in the Bill of Rights prohibits any governing body in the United States from establishing laws regarding religion and freedom of speech. If a company bases its hiring decision-making on employees' religious or political views, it can be liable for damages and may file an employment practices insurance claim to cover legal costs.

Lawrence J. Grard was employed by the Morning Sentinel Newspaper in Maine for 18 years until he expressed his thoughts on same-sex marriage with an organization unaffiliated with his employer, whereupon he was fired.

According to the initial complaint issued by Grard, MaineToday, the parent company of the Morning Sentinel, was in violation of the Civil Rights Act and the Maine Human Rights Act, Bangor Daily News explains.

Grard received an email from an organization promoting same-sex marriage. Through his personal email, which is separate from his business account, Grard responded in opposition to the idea of same-sex marriage. An employee of Morning Sentinel found out about his response and as a result, Grard was fired one week later, the news source reports.

MaineToday and Grard have recently settled the lawsuit, but the details of the agreement have not yet been released to the public, the news source states.

 

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