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ADM 1.03 – First Amendment Issues for Law Enforcement Agencies & Impact Of Social Media

Course Length: 2 hrs. Student Contact

Certificate of Completion: Included

Course Overview

In a time when most people seem to use social media as a main form of communication the role of social media communications for public employees concerning matters that may be related to their jobs or official duties has created a special set of complications balancing First Amendment rights of those employees and the potential harm to the interest of the employer. This course will explore this complex and ever changing landscape.

We will start with discussion of how the Supreme Court in a line of cases has tried to weigh the First Amendment rights of public employees and the ability of public employers to control and regulate those communications. We start with a background of those cases and then move to how the courts have used that precedent to the modern era and social media issues. Using real life case as examples we explore where the law is and trends to where it seems to be going. If you have a social media account, are a public employee and comment about anything to do with the job you need this course. If you are a manager or supervisor in the public sector you need it even more.

Learning objectives:

Upon the completion of this course you will learn: 

 Supreme Court case law addressing the First Amendment rights of public employees.

  1. The limitations public employer can impose on those rights and the consequences for violating those employment rules.
  2. Case application of these principles to social media communications.4. How employees and employers in the public sector can balance these competing interests in light of evolving social media technology.
  3. The obligations of an employer to deal with social media issues that might impact public employment such as by creating a hostile work environment.