The head of the largest state employees union says the governor is putting unconstitutional restrictions on state the rights of state workers to collect recall petition signatures.
A memo sent to state employees this week outlines state laws against them engaging in political activities while on the job, which includes circulating recall petitions on state property. State Employee Union director Marty Beil says those restrictions are unconstitutional because they infringe on their right to petition the government.
Beil says the courts have consistently come down on the side of those exercising their rights, saying employers can only apply a narrow standard and not use a “broad brush” when developing policies.
The Department of Administration says the restrictions only apply to state employees when they are working and the memo simply restates a 2004 policy. But Beil claims the “ban is so broad it would prohibit off-duty state workers from standing on the state Capitol grounds and holding signs asking fellow citizens to sign recall petitions.”
Beil says it would also prevent state workers from helping residents of state facilities, such as the veterans home in King, access recall petitions if they want to sign one.
Beil sent a letter to DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch Wednesday asking for changes to the policy. If they are not made, he says they will consider legal action.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:24)