Former Alachua County Library employee sues after demotion due to anti-‘Black Lives Matter’ Facebook post
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A former employee of the Alachua County Library District says she was forced to resign after being demoted for a social media post she made about ‘Black Lives Matter. '
Alix Freck is now suing ACLD saying the library’s actions goes against her first amendment rights. The 10-page complaint says Freck shared a Facebook video that was anti the BLM movement on about June 3. A fellow co-worker of Freck’s posted their own post about the movement, prompting Freck to comment on it. According to court documents, Freck and this coworker often had political discussions.
Another coworker, however, seeing the post joined the discussion and added her disagreement to Freck’s political opinion.
After the incident, Freck met with Shaney Livingston, the Library Director of Alachua County Library District. Court document say that Livingston advised Freck to not post anything on Facebook about the situation, so that this situation would not be mentioned in her file and she would not be disciplined.
Freck deleted her Facebook account after the meeting.
Freck, who was promoted in February and was on her six-month probationary period in her new position, received a memorandum terminating her probation and demoting her a few weeks later.
In the suit, Freck argues that she did not create the post during work hours or at the work place, and that she was punished “for speech that was on a matter of public concern occurring outside of her official duties.” Meanwhile the library district argues that the social media directive allows them to impose disciplinary measures on an employee for posting comments that violates its standards.
The defendant argues that she was forced to end her employment with the ACLD since her “earning capacity was severely diminished with no possible recovery in sight.”
Freck was first employed by the county library district in April 2012. According to her attorney, she has never received any disciplinary action during her career.
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