Government workers have speech rights


June 8, 2017

Addressing a borough employee in last week’s CVN, Leigh Horner wrote, “As an employee, it’s not your place to publicly criticize how your employer operates.” Contrary to Ms. Horner’s opinion, public employees do not give up their First Amendment rights to free speech when they take up employment. Borough employees have as much right to criticize their government as anyone else. The state and federal governments recognize this right, which is why public employees in Alaska are protected by the State of Alaska Whistleblower Act. I seriously doubt the public interest would be served by public employees keeping quiet when they feel the government has acted inappropriately.

Jila Stuart


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