Controversial op-ed by HR administrator not protected speech, rules appeals court
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a lower court's ruling Monday that the University of Toledo was within its rights when it fired Associate Vice President of Human Resources Crystal Dixon, saying that the university's interests in upholding its equal opportunity policies outweigh her interests in commenting on a matter of public concern.
- At issue was Dixon's 2008 op-ed piece in the Toledo Free Press in which the former HR administrator argued against an earlier op-ed comparing gay rights to civil rights, saying that homosexuality was not an immutable characteristic like skin color, and discussing gay people's higher-than-average salaries and the fates of those who "violate God's divine order."
- She was fired following campus backlash to the piece, and University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs issued a statement yesterday stating that the school was pleased with the court's decision and reaffirming its commitment to diversity.
From the article:
The University of Toledo was within its rights in firing an administrator who expressed what some interpreted as anti-gay views in a local newspaper, an appeals court ruled Monday. In the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit opinion, Judge Karen Nelson Moore wrote that the unanimous decision by the three-judge panel was based on a “narrow inquiry: whether the speech of a high-level human resources official who writes publicly against the very policies that her government employer charges her with creating, promoting and enforcing is protected.” ...
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