Medina-Velazquez v. Hernandez-Gregorat, No. 12-2492 (1st Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Appellants, employees of Puerto Rico’s Department of Transportation and Public Works and members of Puerto Rico’s Popular Democratic Party, were relieved of their job responsibilities and lost supervisory authority upon the change in political administration to the New Progressive Party in Puerto Rico (NPP). Appellants filed suit against Appellees, members of the NPP, claiming that Appellees discriminated on the basis of political affiliation in violation of the First Amendment. The district court dismissed Appellants’ First Amendment claims against the appellees who received Appellants’ cease and dismiss letters, concluding that Appellants’ letters did not identify Appellants’ political affiliation or refer to discriminatory conduct based on political animus, and therefore, Appellants did not adequately allege all elements of a First Amendment political discrimination claim. The First Circuit vacated the district court’s dismissal of Appellants’ First Amendment claims, holding that each appellant stated a plausible First Amendment claim against the appellees who received that appellant’s letter.