Seventeen Monroe County road workers who say they were fired because they supported their boss' political opponent got a victory this week in court.
According to attorney David Garrison, the workers reached a $500,000 settlement with their former employers, Monroe County, Tennessee government and its Road Superintendent, Steve Teague.
The workers said they were fired in 2010 after Teague won reelection. They filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming that "their First Amendment right to political speech was violated by Teague retaliating against them for supporting his political opponent."
"When employees like these county road workers band together to enforce their rights, our system of justice works – by achieving a just settlement for these workers and disclosing their struggle to the public," said Scott Tift, lead trial counsel for the workers. "We hope that this case will ensure that government officials in Tennessee don't let their politics trump their oath to abide by our Constitution when it comes to employing those who serve the public," added David Garrison
The settlement came after three days of trial in federal court in Knoxville.