Appellate court upholds right of association applied to cohabiting couple
In Gaspers, et al., v Ohio Dep't of Youth Services, et al., the Sixth Circuit ruled that Willam and Aldine Gaspers could pursue an illegal retaliation claim against their employer. The Gaspers argued that the Ohio Department of Youth Services illegally punished them by disciplining Aldine, in violation of the First Amendment.
The Department attempted to force William to transfer to less desirable positions where he would not be supervising his wife. The Department also threatened to transfer Aldine to another location if William challenged the Department's attempt to transfer him by insisting on arbitration of his employment rights. When William didn't go along, Aldine was transferred and disciplined, in retaliation.
The Court held that the Gaspers had proved the violation of a well-documented right of association which previous courts have fully recognized.