TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Katharine Heriges on Jun 18, 2019
A federal judge has ruled that Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division must rehire Mike Goza, the technician who was fired after a public backlash over offensive Facebook statements he made about African Americans and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Commercial Appeal reports. "Some of Goza's statements may have been insensitive, offensive, and even bigoted, but they were protected by the Constitution nonetheless," U.S. District Judge Jon McCalla wrote in the ruling, dated Friday. "MLGW thus violated Goza's First Amendment rights when it demoted and fired him." The judge ruled MLGW must also give Goza $160,000 in back pay and benefits, plus $30,000 in compensatory damages.