FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Attorney General Andy Beshear called on Governor Matt Bevin and the Labor Cabinet to rescind subpoenas recently sent to Kentucky school districts.
The subpoenas asked for records and names of teachers who participated in recent "sickouts", during which teachers called in sick but then went to Frankfort to protest various pension-related legislation. The Labor Cabinet issued the subpoenas as part of an inquiry into possible labor law violations.
Beshear called the subpoenas unlawful and gave Bevin 10 days to take action. In a letter he wrote, Beshear said the sickouts do not violate labor law and any attempt to fine a member of a sickout would violate First Amendment rights.
“The governor and his administration are directly threatening teachers in an attempt to keep them from exercising their constitutional rights,” said Beshear. “These ‘sickout’ subpoenas represent another abuse of power by the governor and they must be rescinded.”
Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis expressed concern about the sickouts last month.
"They have the same right that I have to be at the Capitol and protest and do whatever they need to do," said Lewis. "What we don't have the right to do is to call in sick when we're not sick."