Government employees’ broad speech rights in New Hampshire

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene Volokh writes about his discovery of a New Hampshire law that seems to provide broad speech protections to public employees of that state.

Prof. Volokh writes that

If taken seriously, this would protect from retaliation even insults (short of criminally punishable “fighting words”) of coworkers or customers, though I know of no cases on the subject. There’s only one other decision I could find discussing §§ 98-E:1 and 98-E:2, Jordan v. State (N.H. Super. Ct. Apr. 11, 2012), but that also involved speech about government policies.

In any event, this strikes me as an interesting statute — I’d love to hear what New Hampshire lawyers or government employees have to say about how it affects things in New Hampshire in practice. (For statutes in many states protecting both private and public employees from employer retaliation based on their speech and political activity, see here, but those statutes tend to be rather narrower than this one.)

Well worth following, to see what Granite Staters have to say.

Via Volokh Conspiracy.

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