Haddad v. Gregg

Haddad sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983 alleging his employment was terminated by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (MDIFS), for exercising his First Amendment rights. The Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the employer. Haddad argued that he was acting as a “virtual private citizen” because his duties as an MDIFS examiner required him to speak in the public interest and work to end the inclusion of intra-family exclusion clauses (IFEs) in insurance policies. By making this argument, however, Haddad acknowledged that he was acting pursuant to his official duties when he sought to end the use of IFEs through his examinations, the very activity that he claims was the basis for his termination. “[W]hen public employees make statements pursuant to their official duties, the employees are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate their communications from employer discipline.” Haddad’s purpose was to further his official work to end what he believed to be an unfair insurer practice; his conduct was part of the performance of his job, and the district court did not err by concluding that Haddad was not speaking as a private citizen. View "Haddad v. Gregg" on Justia Law