The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last week to consider a case that will further explore when speech about workplace matters by public employees, including teachers and other school workers, is protected by the First Amendment.
The justices on Feb. 28 accepted an appeal by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office of an appellate-court ruling in favor of a prosecutor who claims he was retaliated against for publicly raising questions about the conduct of a deputy sheriff in gathering evidence in a case.
In previous cases, the Supreme Court has ruled that judges must weigh whether the speech in question was about a matter of public concern and whether the worker’s interest in his or her speech outweighs the employer’s interest in an efficient workplace.
The justices will hear Garcetti v. Ceballos (Case No. 04-473) during their 2005-06 term, which begins in October.
A version of this article appeared in the March 09, 2005 edition of Education Week