Legal

Ask a lawyer and get answers to your legal questions

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

This answer was rated:

Our local government employer has written a directive

stating we as employees are...
Our local government employer has written a directive stating we as employees are not allow to be affiliated with motorcycle club viewed as criminals by law enforcement for example the Outlaws. Does our assistant county administrator have this authority? We are in Florida and it is a union full time job
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Answered in 10 minutes by:
3/11/2018
Attorney Wendy
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1,198
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. The key to this question lies in the basis on which the government has identified a particular group as criminal. In other words, the employer could not just randomly select groups and then issue directives or policies prohibiting employees participation in those groups as to do so raises serious First Amendment concerns of freedom of association. That said, if the government has a reasonable basis to identify a group as criminal in nature, it may be able to take some action against an employee who is involved with that organization if there is strong enough evidence of criminal activity (think if instead of a motorcycle club the directive was not to be associated with a terrorist organization) so directing employees not to be involved is essentially preventing or at least providing notice that association with the organization may not be acceptable. I still have strong First Amendment concerns, however, as the link between the organization and criminal activity would have to be pretty substantial to justify this sort of directive. Since you are employed where there is a union, the union contract may have additional protections for you. For that reason, I would suggest you contact a union representative to see if there are any reasons as part of the unions negotiated relationship with the county that this directive may be inappropriate or in breach of that agreement. You may also consider inquiring of the employer what the basis for that directive is to better evaluate whether there may be a legal basis for it.

If you need further assistance, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating.

Please note: This information is ​for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The reason for my question is this they sent a directive not allowing county employees to affiliate with motorcycle clubs such as Outlaws, Pegans etc. one of our employees was recently fired for being a member of the outlaws (even after resigning). Now there are 8 additional employees who belong to the Brother N Irons Club, they (county)believe they are affiliated with the Outlaws and are now going after their jobs as well. None of members are violent nor are they known to be. Just seeking some help keep their jobs.

Thank you for the clarification. This seems like a clear First Amendment violation of your right to associate with whomever you choose. If this were a private employer they may actually be able to take this action, but as a government employer they cannot take actions that infringe on your constitutional rights in this manner. It would obviously be a different scenario if you or there other employees were engaging in criminal activity, or if there were other problems with your job performance. But mere association with a motorcycle club should not be a legally acceptable reason for discipline or termination. A review of some relevant court cases supports the position that your First Amendment right to freedom of association includes the right to associate with a motorcycle club. The U.S. Supreme Court said as much in connection with the Hell's Angels in a 1976 case called Elrod v. Burns. I would certainly consider enlisting the union's help, if they will help, in attempting to bring this issue to the employer's attention in that this is not a proper request - to disassociate - and it is not a proper grounds for any adverse employment action against employees who have done nothing more than affiliate or associate with motorcycle clubs.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you so much ... that is a huge helpI have one more question off topic however pertaining to the same group... if you haven’t notice we are firefighters. Some of our high ranking chiefs have made comments in the presence of these members stating “there are some who are going to reap the repercussions of violating social media policies” while looking at directly at members. I believe they saw pictures of outings with these members and outlaw members at the same establishment and this is there basis for there affiliation even though we are all coworkers. Firefighters do have a brotherhood among us similar to military. There have been other issues with our administration releasing personal information such as personal phone numbers, addresses, and county email to media outlets through public record inquiry. This reporter showed up at a residence, called numerous individuals and wrote emails soliciting to speak with him using county email. Many members stated he told them “if you speak with me, I won’t be as hard on you in the article!” Could we not go after Harassment and Hostile work environment?

Those facts certainly raise additional issues and concerns. I would make sure anyone who appears to be targeted for whatever reason does follow any and all legitimate policies (e.g., if there are policies regarding postings on social media the employer may be able to restrict or prohibit certain such activity if it would shed a bad light on the employer - which is a bit of an admittedly fuzzy standard). With that though, harassment and creation of a hostile work environment are prohibited. What constitutes harassment or a hostile work environment requires several things. For harassment to be unlawful, it needs to be targeting an individual or group that is part of a protected class (based on race, gender, religion, age, etc.). In other words, harassment is unwelcome conduct targeting someone because of their race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, etc. It is related to hostile work environment as the harassment is unlawful only where one must be subjected to it in order to perform the job (in other words, you have to endure the harassment in order to continue working at your job) and it is so severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would consider it intimidating, hostile or abusive. So, in this context if those involved with only motorcycle clubs with members of a certain race or religion are being targeted, a legal issue arises. If the targeting is all motorcycle clubs regardless of the employees' or members' being part of a protected class due to race, religion, gender then it may not technically be unlawful harassment or hostile work environment under the law. That does not mean it doesn't give rise to a justifiable complaint to human resources, the union or both. The disclosure of personal information should be immediately reported to human resources or whatever management office handles personnel issues.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Our department is going quite a rough time. Our union is now offering some legal representation however they said they can’t do much bc the county has not offered up exactly what they have as far as evidence or reason for this investigation. They are asking these individuals to come in for questioning with these 2 questions in mind: Have you read the directive? Have you violated the directive?Any advice for when they go in?

I think there is no harm in admitting to reading the directive, but I think there needs to be some discussion with legal representation from the union whether you should or have to answer whether the directive has been violated. I think if the directive just came out and someone does participate with one or more of the motorcycle clubs but has not been to any gatherings since the directive, the honest answer can be yes, I've read it and no I have not violated it. But I think the employer needs to be questioned as to its legality and also as to the basis and legitimate business reason for it. This is a request that a union rep should make. Also, keep in mind that if any of you file complaints against the employer for this - claiming violation of First Amendment rights, harassment or hostile work environment, you are also protected by anti-retaliation laws - meaning that they cannot take adverse action against you simply because you filed those claims or complaints as long as your complaints are made in good faith and based on your honest beliefs and perceptions. This does sound like a rough time for the department and the more of you who can band together to ask the right questions and take your issues to the right people (you can always go over the head of one supervisor), the better the chance someone will listen. Again, this sounds like a very unfortunate situation and I wish you the best of luck resolving it. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Are you located in Florida?

Unfortunately, I am not.

Attorney Wendy
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1,198
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified
Attorney Wendy and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a lawyerLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Attorney Wendy Your Own Question
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy
Attorney Wendy, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1,198
1,198 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC

Attorney Wendy is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

24,657 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

INFOLAWYER

INFOLAWYER

Attorney

22,408 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses

JPEsq

JPEsq

Attorney

2,132 satisfied customers

Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor

Law Educator, Esq.

Law Educator, Esq.

Attorney

44,066 satisfied customers

JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law

Ellen

Ellen

Lawyer, Consultant

8,238 satisfied customers

25 years of experience helping people like you.

Guillermo Senmartin

Guillermo Senmartin

Lawyer

300 satisfied customers

Principal Attorney at Guillermo J. Senmartin, P.A.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

17,183 satisfied customers

Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.

< Previous | Next >

Related Legal Questions
Is there a law in New York governing when you can run a
Good afternoon! Is there a law in New York governing when you can run a criminal background check on a job applicant? … read more
KLAW
KLAW
Juris Doctorate
2,277 satisfied customers
I worked as a towtruck driver and we were forced to sign a
i worked as a towtruck driver and we were forced to sign a paper stating we are responsible for damages to a customers vehicle. can we actually be held responsible for those or just the deductible on … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
12,601 satisfied customers
I have an expunged arrest from 9 years ago. I am applying
I have an expunged arrest from 9 years ago. I am applying for a position at a nuclear facility who obviously has stringint background requirements. Can I answer that I have never been arrested if my a… read more
Nisha Jones
Nisha Jones
Juris Doctorate
3,452 satisfied customers
One of our employees quit the company after taking advantage
Hi one of our employees quit the company after taking advantage of tuition reimburse policy . What are our options how can we recover the tuition costs. Thank you … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
12,601 satisfied customers
I have a maintenance construction company and we did several
Hi I have a maintenance construction company and we did several jobs that were prevailing wage. we are the third party subcontractor doin a government or state job and already had a certain rate we pa… read more
KLAW
KLAW
Juris Doctorate
2,277 satisfied customers
while gaming in the Horse Casino in Baltimore Md myself and
while gaming in the Horse Casino in Baltimore Md myself and 5 others were asked to leave after buying drinks and spending money an for no reason given by security other than they were told to remove u… read more
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
8,845 satisfied customers
a local orchestra deals with a musicians union in a neighboring
a local orchestra deals with a musician's union in a neighboring county (there is no local in the county in which the orchestra does business). There is another neighboring county (even closer) that a… read more
John
John
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,989 satisfied customers
Can my employer give everyone a polygraph about an ongoing
Can my employer give everyone a polygraph about an ongoing criminal investigation? Are we allowed to answer questions about the subject matter? I work for a city in Kansas.… read more
Loren
Loren
578 satisfied customers
My wife worked for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10137. She
My wife worked for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10137. She started 4 years ago as a Bartender, shortly thereafter she was given the head Bartenders job. She did all the ordering for the bar,keep the … read more
LadyJustice
LadyJustice
Attorney & Counselor At Law
Doctoral Degree
410 satisfied customers
while driving on I-55 police stopped me stating that I failed
while driving on I-55 police stopped me stating that I failed to move over to allow a car coming from the off ramp to enter the interstate. I contend that the automobile had plenty of time to enter on… read more
rvlaw
rvlaw
Judge
Juris Doctor
3,203 satisfied customers
As an employee, if I have received a positive performance evaluation
As an employee, if I have received a positive performance evaluation and recommendation for a raise but constantly am having communication issues with my direct supervisor who has had Human Resources … read more
FLACORPLAWYER
FLACORPLAWYER
Doctoral Degree
1,750 satisfied customers
I am a member of the Outlaws motorcycle club and we have a
I am a member of the Outlaws motorcycle club and we have a new house in Daytona and the local cop's are giving us a hard time about parking around our house and in the empty lot across the street.The … read more
MShore Law
MShore Law
Doctoral Degree
1,233 satisfied customers
My Florida employer recently asked me to sign a new non-compete
My Florida employer recently asked me to sign a new non-compete after 2yrs of employment. Could you help me to understand the legal merit (Florida) of this new clause?? "Client and/or Affiliate Contac… read more
Daniel Solutions
Daniel Solutions
Doctoral Degree
5,212 satisfied customers
we have about 18 members, club colore,etc patches and club
we have about 18 members, club colore,etc: patches and club name with appointed officers of the club. Would like information on how to get our motorcycle club charter. information can be faxed to: ATT… read more
Maverick
Maverick
Doctoral Degree
6,146 satisfied customers
working for $15 an hour and let go because the manager and ...
working for $15 an hour and let go because the manager and I didnt agree on most buisness practices, picked up my last check friday for 50 hours and was paid at a rate of $6.76 an hour for 40 hours, a… read more
P-Leagle
P-Leagle
Tax Accountant
Bachelor's Degree
576 satisfied customers
is it constitutionally legal to be forced to jion a labor
is it constitutionally legal to be forced to jion a labor union as a codition of contined employment… read more
4ren6
4ren6
Retired
2,906 satisfied customers
If you are under contract with a North Dakota Corp.
If you are under contract with a North Dakota Corp. with a No compete clause, how would this effect being able to work in the state of Florida and other states in the same industry?… read more
Jane T (LLC)
Jane T (LLC)
Master\u0027s Degree
5,402 satisfied customers
At one of our hotel bars 24 bottles of liquor are missing
At one of our hotel bars 24 bottles of liquor are missing two employees are pointing fingers at each other. One we believe and one we do not, but we have no proof. We have filed a police report but do… read more
NOT LEGAL ADVICE!
NOT LEGAL ADVICE!
1,470 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x