Discussion

Write a substantive interaction with the discussion of the following two posts.
#1
Public service employees for the most part are afforded the same constitutional rights as ordinary citizens. Their rights, however come with caveats. The limitation of rights imposed are contingent upon the capacity in which they are being applied. Their First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as public service employees have maintained a balance over the years by way of rulings in their favor from the U.S. Supreme court (Nigro & Kellough, 2014). This balance produces productive employees who are more willing to promote public trust and are more committed to serving and meeting the demands and expectations of the public.

When the Bill of rights were ratified in 1791, it only applied to land owning white men (Bill of Rights, n.d.). Later in 1848, Blacks received equal protection under the law by way of the Fourteenth Amendment. Nothing was known or mentioned about LGBTQs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) in the 1800s, therefore these amendments did not apply to them. Society has drastically evolved since the inception of the Bill of Rights. A new community (the LGBTQs) have emerged since this time and are demanding the same constitutional rights bestowed to all citizens, especially in the workplace, to include public service.

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My summary presents a public service worker who shares this same sentiment in that he believes he should be afforded the same balance as it relates to his individual rights and the needs of the organization regardless of his sexual identity. David Schroer, a former Army Special Forces commander interviewed and was selected as a Congressional Research Service (CSR) terrorism specialist. Schroer was highly qualified based on his extensive military service career and stood out among the other candidates.

Prior to beginning work at CRS, he informed the hiring manager that after years of cross-dressing in private, he was preparing to start living full time as a woman. He was scheduled to have sex change surgery, and planned to start at CRS as Diane Jacqueline Schroer, not David John Schroer.

Needless to say, Schroer did not get the job. He was told that the Library worried that his transition could affect his top-secret security clearance; that his appearance in women’s clothing could make his contacts in the government less willing to cooperate with him; and that his impending surgeries (facial surgery to make him appear more feminine, possible genital surgeries in the future) could distract him from his job. Schroer filed suit in federal court.

Clearly the freedoms afforded to other public service workers do not interfere with their public organizations. This balance should be no different for transgenders. The accolades, and skill set that set him apart from other candidates are still there. His gender identity has no bearing on the job at hand and should not be considered a distraction or impediment on his job performance.

References

Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006). (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/547/410/ (Links to an external site.)

Nigro, L. G., & Kellough, J. E. (2014). The new public personnel administration.

Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

The Bill of Rights. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://www.ushistory.org/us/18a.asp (Links to an external site.)

Taylor, J. K. (2007). Transgender identities and public policy in the united

states: The relevance for public administration. Administration & Society,

39(7), 833-856.

#2
How the rights of employees are balanced against the needs of the organization

Among the many legal cases reminiscent of Garacetti v. Ceballos, Richardson of the ABA Journal noted an IRS worker in a legal dispute pertaining to her freelance work as a lecturing geophysics instructor (Richardson, 1994). Entangled in the United States v. National Treasury Employees Union, “Jan Adams-Grant, an IRS supervisor in Ogden, Utah, was forced to give up her freelance writing career and extra income of $10,000 per year” due to the Ethics Reform Act passed in 1989, which prohibits federal employees from receiving money for an appearance, articles, or speeches (Richardson, 1994, p. 48). Government employees should not feel stifled simply due to being affiliated or employed by the government. Public sector employees are paid substantially lower than private sector staff and should not be punished for choosing a career field that contributes to society. How ironic that those who are selfless enough to pursue public service would be penalized financially for pursuing academic and personal endeavors.

The First Amendment of the Constitution protects the freedom of speech, press, and religion. However, public service employees have a responsibility to uphold a code of ethics meaning that issues that would pose risks to the general public should be expressed. The protection of speech becomes ambiguous relating to legality concerns when an employee shares negative comments, private information, or comments that are demeaning and violent in nature towards company superiors. In the case of Pickering v. the board of Education, a teacher was terminated due to expressing concerns of how funds were allocated (Hudson, 2017). The premise behind the statement was to fund academic needs over athletic which is a reasonable request from an educator. The balance of individual rights and the interest of employers should coincide when the common ground is for the betterment of the general public.

Reference:

Hudson Jr., D. (2017). Pickering v. Board of Education (1968). The First Amendment

Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: https://www/mtsu.edu/first-amendment

Richardson, A. (1994). No Money in Free Speech. ABA Journal, 80(11), p. 48

Retrieved from: https://web-a-ebscohost-com, 24 Mar 2020.

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