No First Amendment Protected Speech for Public Employees for Statements Made During Official Duties
The Supreme Court of the United States held in the seminal case of Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 210 (2006) that a public official may exercise protected freedom of speech only during private speech as part of his or her life as a private citizen, and not during his or her official duties as a public official.
In other words, SCOTUS held that statements made by public employees as part of their official duties are not protected under the First Amendment and; therefore, those public employees who make statements as part of their official duties are not protected from disciplinary actions taken against them for making such statements.
The Garcetti decision has no impact on state and federal whistleblower laws. Indeed, SCOTUS made note in Garcetti that public employees who make statements during the course of their employment may seek protection through state and federal whistleblower laws. Because of that protection, SCOTUS declined to extend First Amendment protection to public employees who make statement during their official duties.