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Constitutional Rights Assignment 3

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Constitutional Rights
Turrochelle McEachern
Introduction to Public Policy/ PAD 525
8/22/2014
Professor Dr. Timothy Smith
This report reviews and analyzes individual rights afforded by the constitution and their applicability to the suit for wrongful termination in the case of Korb versus Raytheon. The specific constitutional rights under review are the freedom of speech, freedom of information and challenges associated with employment law. Lawrence Korb, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense and current employee of Raytheon, a large equipment manufacturing company for the U.S. military was terminated after making public statements criticizing defense spending and calling for a reduction of Navy’s fleet. Raytheon, a manufacturer of Navy ships terminated Korb because they viewed his comments as contrary to the success of their business operations. This report will explore the challenges presented by the freedom of speech, freedom of information and employment law and their impact on the outcome of the case. Analyze and evaluate each case independently by providing the following (about two paragraphs per case):Facts of the case, Issues, Rule In Korb V. Raytheon, the defendant (Raytheon) was a large equipment manufacturing company for the U.S. military. The Plaintiff, Lawrence Korb was employed by Raytheon as a Vice-President at corporate headquarters based in Washington, D.C. According to Masscases.com, in December 1985, Korb joined a non-profit organization called the Committee for National Security (CNS) in the capacity of an executive board member . Prior to this he was employed as an assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower with the Department of Defense.   In 1986 a press conference held by CNC to release the organization’s annual alternative defense budget, Korb expressed sentiments that criticized defense spending and requested a reduction of the Navy’s 600 ship Fifteen Carrier Group. Subsequently, a newspaper released an article covering the event. In the article, the newspaper identified Korb as a former assistant secretary of defense, now a private citizen working for arms maker, Raytheon Co. The news article went on to details Korb criticisms of the current size and structure Navy’s fleet.  As a result of the speech and news article, Raytheon received numerous complaints from military officers and proceeded to fire Korb for expressing false opinions of the company. Raytheon then offered Korb an assignment of lesser importance. Korb considered this new assignment as a demotion and an unconstitutional attempt to silence him. Consequently, Korb declined the position and brought suit against Raytheon for wrongful termination. The rule of law involves the protection of speech under the first amendment. The courts had to consider whether the first amendment protection only applies to the government or if it is applicable in the operations of private companies. The courts ruled that the first amendment only guarantees that the government may not make a law abridging the rights of its citizens, but if it is a private company, they can do as they wish and are not covered under the law. Consequently the State Court found that because Raytheon was a private corporation, they reserved the right to fire employees for representing false views of the company. This case showed that in the private sector the same rules don’t apply and that the first amendment cannot protect your speech from the discretion of your employer. Analyze and explain the challenges with freedom of speech.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court abruptly dismissed Korb's claim under the state civil rights statute. They based their decision on the fact that although Korb has a secured right to speak out on matters of public concern, and he also has a right to express views with which Raytheon disagrees, he does not have the right to do so at Raytheon's expense (Masscases.com, 2012). Korb was hired to be an advocate for Raytheon. After he... Show More

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