Environmental Attorney's Political Discrimination and Retaliation Claims Rejected

By FindLaw Staff on March 04, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In Uphoff-Figueroa v. Alejandro, No. 08-1921, the First Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's judgment against an environmental attorney in his action against his employer, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and PREPA officials claiming various causes of action, including employment discrimination and retaliation.

Plaintiff's suit arose from his main contention that the new Popular Democratic Party discriminated against him by denying him a permanent appointment as the administrator of PREPA's environmental law office and created hostile workplace environment because of his membership with the New Progressive Party.

In affirming the district court's judgment in favor of the defendants, the court held that under Branti v. Finkel, 445 U.S. 507 (1980), the position of administrator is not within First Amendment protection because it is a policy-making position.  The court upheld district court's dismissal of plaintiff's various claims under Rule 12(b)(6), dismissal of the retaliation claim, and conspiracy claims. 



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