Harrisburg, PA

Earlier today, January 9, 2019 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to take a case where a probationary PennDot worker made “threats” on Facebook while talking about bus drivers.

“Can we acknowledge the horrible school bus drivers?…They are hella scary. Daily I get ran off the berm of our completely wide enough road and today one asked me to t-bone it. I end this rant saying I don’t give a flying fuck about those babies and I will gladly smash into a school bus.”

Carr appealed to Commonwealth Court after the state Civil Service Commission upheld her firing.  The Commonwealth Court ordered she be reinstated with PennDot now appealing to the Supreme Court to uphold the termination and the Civil Service Commission’s original decision.

The Court said it would decide the following issues as it considers the case:

(1) Is the Commonwealth Court’s decision in conflict with the U.S.
Supreme Court’s rulings in Pickering [v. Bd. of Educ. of Twp. High Sch. Dist., 391 U.S.
563 (1968)] and its progeny, which allow a government employer to terminate an
employee on the basis of their speech, even when it touches upon a matter of public
concern, so long as the employer can demonstrate that an adverse effect could be
reasonably foreseen?

(2) Did the Commonwealth Court err as a matter of law by failing to give
sufficient weight to the public importance, or lack thereof, of Carr’s Facebook comments,
as required by Pickering and its progeny?

(3) Did the Commonwealth Court err as a matter of law by failing to give
sufficient weight to the public importance, or lack thereof, of Carr’s Facebook comments,
as required by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Sacks?

 

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