HOUSTON – The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is experiencing a little internal turmoil.
Deputy Carl Pittman is suing Sheriff Adrian Garcia in federal court. Garcia’s alleged crime?
His new social media policy, which went into effect in July.
Pittman, a former candidate for Harris County sheriff, says the policy violates his First Amendment rights.
According to the official complaint, the policy “prohibits employees like Pittman from engaging in speech…that may be the slightest bit critical of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.”
The sheriff’s office released a statement about the suit, saying the social media policy was modeled after reviewing similar policies and parallels the conduct expected of all employees.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is not alone – social media restrictions are becoming common in the workplace.
Can the policies be annoying? Sure. But a First Amendment violation?
The First Amendment does give you the freedom to say what you want — no one can send you to jail for giving your opinion.
But does it protect you from the consequences of speaking your mind about an employer? The court will have the final words on this one.