TITLE VI
PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

Chapter 98-E
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Section 98-E:1

    98-E:1 Freedom of Expression. – Notwithstanding any other rule or order to the contrary, a person employed as a public employee in any capacity shall have a full right to publicly discuss and give opinions as an individual on all matters concerning any government entity and its policies. It is the intention of this chapter to balance the rights of expression of the employee with the need of the employer to protect legitimate confidential records, communications, and proceedings.

Source. 1979, 433:1. 2008, 202:2, eff. June 16, 2008.

Section 98-E:1-a

    98-E:1-a Definition. – In this chapter, " public employee " includes any person employed by the state or any subdivision thereof, including, but not limited to counties, cities, towns, precincts, water districts, school districts, and school administrative units.

Source. 2008, 202:3, eff. June 16, 2008.

Section 98-E:2

    98-E:2 Interference Prohibited. – No person shall interfere in any way with the right of freedom of speech, full criticism, or disclosure by any public employee.

Source. 1979, 433:1. 2008, 202:4, eff. June 16, 2008.

Section 98-E:3

    98-E:3 Confidential Records. – Nothing in this chapter shall suspend or affect any law relating to confidential and privileged records or communications. For the purposes of this chapter, confidential records and communications shall include communication or records relating to investigations for law enforcement purposes and collective bargaining proceedings.

Source. 1979, 433:1, eff. Aug. 23, 1979.

Section 98-E:4

    98-E:4 Employees' Remedies. –
I. A public employee may seek injunctive relief or maintain a civil action, or both, to recover damages for violation of this chapter in any court of competent jurisdiction by bench or jury trial.
II. If the public employee prevails, in addition to damages the court may allow the costs of the action and such attorney's fees as it finds to be reasonable to be paid by the defendant employer.
III. This chapter shall not alter or impair the rights of any person under a collective bargaining agreement or affect any other right or remedy provided in law.

Source. 1979, 433:1. 2008, 202:5, eff. June 16, 2008.