robertsFirst things first. My favorite David Bowie song is “Heroes” (though I remember really being struck by its use in the 2001 movie, Moulin Rouge).

But the Bowie song that comes to mind today for various reasons is “Changes” and how it ties into another big story of the day — an oral argument before

In broad terms, the First Amendment prohibits public employers from retaliating against employees who engage in "protected speech".   (Connecticut has a statute, Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-51q that purports to apply the First Amendment to private employers too.)  But proving these cases remains difficult for employees.  

And even victories may later end up as

To borrow an oft-quoted phrase, it is commonly understood that public employees do not shed their constitutional rights at the workplace entrance.  Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that employees have the right to speak out on matters of "public concern" without retribution, based on First Amendment protections.

But one question that

This week, word came down that several Hartford-area companies were implementing a ban on smoking anywhere on company premises. This means outside areas on the campuses of these businesses, and the parking lots as well.  Previously, employees could smoke in designated areas outside various buildings. 

Yesterday, Bristol started considering implementing a ban on smoking