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Public Employees’ Rights and Obligations

The public administration employees work for the government, implying that their management is grounded on the politics of the ruling regime. There are certain obligations and rights enjoyed by these employees, which is not the case with other people working in private enterprises. The “First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments” of the United States constitution stipulates the rights of the workers and balances them with the obligations (Nigro & Kellough, 2014, p. 210). For instance, there is a statutory law which restricts public servants from participating in politics. This reflection paper discusses how the topic of rights and responsibilities has influenced my aspirations to learn more concerning people working in Public Administration.

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First, I realized that in any democratic nation, the government’s authority is restrained to limit the chances of power abuse. There are different articles of the United States Constitution, such as the Bill of Rights, which provide limitations to government’s operations. The constitution provides a limit to the rulers on their authority and how they direct the employees. The legal verdicts that emerged since the 1950s led to changes in the relationship between the employer and employee. Importantly, bosses could not impose many unfavorable conditions on their servants, as was the case in the previous years. As a result, the courts narrowed the discretion of the management by offering protection and additional guarantees to government employees at all levels. Learning about the constitutional rights of servants in the public domain is important to me as a person who will potentially be employed in the same area. I will be able to understand my rights and obligations, as well as those of the management.

Secondly, it was interesting to note how the Supreme Court decision citing the due process changed the obligations of public employees. Early in the 1970s, the Supreme Court made a verdict allowing public servants to have liberty and proper interests in their line of duty. This is connected to the relative security of tenure in which the government is only entitled to terminate the workers for justifiable reasons. The public servants are also accorded freedom of speech, but only when they comment citizens and not as employees.

Also, the workers must ensure that their pronouncement has no interference with efficient workplace operations. The other area of right and responsibility concerns freedom of association. When a person holds an official duty to which affiliation to the ruling political party is essential for effective performance, they can be dismissed for partisan reasons. Privacy is another issue of concern since the government may randomly develop additional job requirements such as drug testing. The issue of equality amid controversies in gender and sexual orientation is also a significant concern for public servants. It is apparent that for every right accorded to the employee, there is an obligation so as to put the workplace environment in check.

Conclusively, it is apparent that different constitutional amendments and court decisions have resulted in favorable legal conditions for public servants. Specifically, the excesses of the management have been minimized on fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, association, and ownership of property. I think that such changes have given the current public employees a special status. When workers feel secure in their workplace, they will be more enthusiastic to work. However, to protect the ruling party, I think that the public servants who choose to vie for a political sit should be required to retire.

Reference

Nigro, L. G., & Kellough, J. E. (2014). Chapter eight: Public employees: Rights and responsibilities. In The new public personnel administration (7th ed.) (pp. 210-221). Cengage Learning.

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