Source: Robert Roberts, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Vol. 27, No. 2, June 2007
In Garcetti v. Ceballos (2006), the United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit a public employer from disciplining a public employee for the contents of an official memorandum made in the course of the performance of official duties, even if a federal court finds that the contents of the memorandum involved a matter of “public concern.” This article argues that the Garcetti decision modifies the Pickering v. Board of Education (1968) and Connick v. Myers (1983) two-part test by requiring federal courts to first determine whether or not the public official made a communication in the course of the performance of official duties. The article also argues that it remains to be seen whether the Garcetti decision will have a significant impact on the willingness of public employees to make use of official channels to raise legitimate concerns over actions taken or not taken by their organizations.