The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling that Department of Corrections staff can’t wear protest pins featuring Governor Terry Branstad while on the job.
The employees who belonged to the AFSCME union wore pins with Branstad’s picture and a red slash through it at the Oakdale Classification Center in protest of Branstad’s closing of Workforce Development offices and his 1991 veto of pay increases for state employees.
At least two other union staff members complained the pins were offensive, and the Department of Corrections banned the pins, deeming them disrespectful.
An administrative law judge overturned the ban, but the Public Employment Relations Board ruled there were special circumstances and upheld the ban. The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled AFSCME did not prove the Public Employment Relations Board decision was irrational, illogical or wholly unjustifiable, and upheld the ban on the pins.