When people come up to me to talk about the blog, one of the things that often gets discussed is “How do you pick things to write about?” Often times, I tell them, it comes easily.
But a new Appellate Court decision, Johnson v. Board of Education — a decision that will be officially released next week — has left me a bit stumped. Is there really a takeaway from this case for employers? If so, what is it?
The case itself is a free-speech claim brought by a former employee who was laid off when the grant for his position expired. A jury found for the employer concluding that although the speech by the employee was “protected”, the comments weren’t a substantial or motivating factor in the decision to end his employment.
He appealed, claiming that the judge improperly excluded certain evidence and that the judge should’ve recused herself after participating in a pretrial (or settlement) conference. The Appellate Court rejected the appeal. Pretty standard stuff regarding standards of review and the evidentiary issues.
And so, in reading the case over, I’m not sure there are really any good takeaways for employers in this case. And while I have a few thoughts, I thought it would be more interesting to hear from you.
So, dear blog reader, I leave this one to you. What lessons do you think employers should take from this case? Does this case have an important pronouncements? Are all court cases created equal? Are all Appellate Court cases important?
Leave the comments down below and, depending on the response, I’ll include them in a future post.