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View Diary: Temple Tells Nurses: The Constitution Doesn't Apply to You (259 comments)

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  •  The gag clause... (9+ / 0-)

    In the gag clause, the nurses could be punished or fired for reporting unsafe working conditions. This is a provision in their employment contract.

    Is it a violation of First Amendment rights? Well, what does the first amendment say...

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    So the question really is this...

    If a nurse speaks out and gets fired, does she have the right to sue for unlawful termination if there is a gag clause in their employment contract? If they don't, isn't Congress making a "de facto" law?

    I'd say that's a pretty big grey area.

    But, the nurses have an obligation and responsibility to adhere to state laws. Therefore, a private employment contract should not be able to supersede a nurse's duty to the state's law. Maybe not unconstitutional, but probably illegal. For certain, it is bad policy.

    •  That might well be held to be illegal as applied (0+ / 0-)

      but this battle goes well beyond that "hard case."

      "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:36:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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