Civilian employees are different from governmental employees in several ways. Civilian employees answer to a privately held company. Government employees are responsible to and answer to the citizens. Governmental employees are governed by civil service rules that not only provide security to the employee, but limit the government's power to reward or punish the employee.
Privatization meets the immunity-related need to recruit candidates by the usage of insurance coverage that will protect the employee and company. This encourages candidates for employment to work for the companies. Private companies are released from the requirement of civil service contraints. In doing so, they may offer higher wages or better benefits. The court further stated that lawsuits tend to distract private employees from their duties, however that cannot be sufficient grounds for immunity.
The Court closes with three caveats. First, the focus has been on § 1983 immunity, not liability. Second, the immunity question has been answered narrowly, in the context in which it arose, and, thus, does not involve a private individual briefly associated with a government body, serving as an adjunct to government in an essential governmental activity, or acting under close official supervision. Third, no opinion is expressed on the issue whether petitioners might assert, not immunity, but a special good faith defense.
--Justice Breyer delivering the majority opinion of the court in Richardson et al. v. McKnight, 521 U.S. 399 (1997)
So, when we are confronted in these situations, we cannot offer a Garrity warning to privatized employees. During an investigation where immunity is required, one must obtain it from the prosecutor, and only when it is agreed upon. Does this complicate our situation? We have always had to remain flexible in the legal environment and roll with the punches. If anything, we have rulings with instructions on how to proceed. After all, haven't we all said some decisions would be a detriment to our cases, only to realize within time it was the right thing to do?