“Heffernan’s supervisors demoted Heffernan from detective to patrol officer and assigned him to a “walking post.” In this way they punished Heffernan for what they thought was his “overt involvement” in Spagnola’s campaign.” Heffernan v. City of Paterson, New Jersey, et al., 2016 WL 1627953 *3 (2016). “In a word, it was the employer’s motive, and in particular the facts as the employer reasonably understood them, that mattered….Here the employer mistakenly thought that the employee had engaged in protected speech. If the employer’s motive (and in particular the facts as the employer reasonably understood them) is what mattered in Waters, why is the same not true here? After all, in the law, what is sauce for the goose is normally sauce for the gander.” Id. at *5.

 

Heffernan v. City of Paterson, New Jersey, et al., 2016 WL 1627953 (2016).

Justice Breyer