What Are Federal Employees’ Rights to Protest the Government Shutdown?

People don’t lose their First Amendment rights if they work for the government. Standing up for your First Amendment right to protest can be challenging — especially if you’re a government employee. Since Dec. 22, nearly 800,000 government employees nationwide have been affected by the partial federal government shutdown, putting a stop to work and paychecks. Despite President Trump’s claim that federal workers “agree 100 percent with what I’m doing,” many have wondered about their right to protest during the shutdown — and whether there could be workplace retaliation for doing so.Here are some answers. Can federal workers organize a protest to convince government leaders to end the shutdown? Yes. While federal employees are subject to certain restrictions of their First Amendment free speech rights while functioning in their official capacity, they still retain the right to engage in free speech activities as private individuals.…

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