- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Employees with the Nevada city of Henderson have a new policy that states that those who speak to members of the media without first clearing it with their communications office could face retribution, including firing.

“It’s not just a threat to employees,” Barry Smith, the director of the Nevada Press Association, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s really a threat to the media as well: ‘Hey, don’t talk to our employees, because if their name shows up in your story, we’re going to take it out on them.’ “

The city updated its employee policy manual to include guidelines on social media and other issues, Fox News reported.

The last section of the revised policy now says, Fox News reported: “Any employee who speaks with the media in their capacity as a City of Henderson employee without authorization from the [communications office] or who violates this Media Contact and Response Administrative Policy will be subject to discipline up to and including termination, and any other remedial action deemed appropriate by the City.”

The city’s director of communications and council support, Bud Cranor, denied that Henderson was chilling relations between workers and the media.

“There is nothing in there that says employees cannot talk to reporters,” he said, Fox News reported.

Rather, the city only wants employees to let the Office of Communications know when they are speaking to a news person, he said, Fox News reported.

When asked why the section was added in to the policy, Mr. Cranor said: “If you violate a policy, there is a consequence,” he said, Fox News reported.

He also noted that the state’s whistleblower laws still applied to Henderson employees.

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