INFORMATION

Site Map - Legal Issues

Identity theft

- Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has signed 11 new identity theft bills into law. The bills contain a number of provisions including making identity theft a felony in Michigan and prohibiting businesses or public utilities from denying service to identity theft victims. The bills also prohibit any company from requiring a Social Security number as a condition for doing business. The bills also prohibit photographing, recording, or electronically transmitting personal information taken without consent from credit, debit, and ATM cards.

Drug testing

- A federal court of appeals has ruled that an employee's arrest for the possession of drug paraphernalia, an abuse of sick leave policy, and his refusal to submit to a drug test are sufficient grounds for requiring the employee to undergo ongoing, random drug screening. (Robert Relford v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, No. 03-5600, 2004)

Workers' compensation.

- The Supreme Court of Montana has ruled that an employer must pay workers' compensation benefits for an intoxicated employer who fell from a balcony during a conference. Overturning a lower court's ruling, the state supreme court held that the employee's after-hours drinking did not negate his widow's workers' compensation claim (Mindy Van Fleet v. Montana Association of Counties Workers' Compensation Trust, Montana Supreme Court, No. 04-206, 2004)

Legal Reporter

- Common carrier liability and the ADA in the courts, and Congress legislates on genetic discrimination, homeland security, and privacy.

What’s the Verdict on Digital Evidence?

- The Canadian experience shows that many issues related to the admissibility of digital images in court proceedings remain unresolved.

What’s the Verdict on Digital Evidence?

- For information on how this issue of digital image admissibility is evolving in U.S. courts, link to an article by Rebecca Levy-Sachs and Melissa Sullivan of Robinson & Cole.

Discrimination.

- A federal appeals court has ruled that a woman who was fired approximately a month after she gave birth to a disabled child can pursue her claim of discrimination. The decision overturns a lower court’s summary judgment in favor of the company, which prevented the woman from taking her case to court. The judge ruled that the timing of the termination and the birth along with the woman’s successful 12-year career and excellent performance reviews were sufficient to move the case forward. (Strate v. Midwest Bankcentre, Inc., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, No. 03-4039, 2005).

Privacy

- A federal appeals court has ruled that an employer did not violate an employee’s Fourth Amendment rights when it required her to submit to a psychological evaluation even though the evaluation was two hours long and required that the employee divulge details of her personal life. The court ruled that the company had the right to do so, even without a stated reason. (Greenwalt v. Indiana Department of Correction, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2005).

Surveillance

- A bill (H.B. 1392)introduced in the Arkansas Legislature would allow nursing home residents to have CCTV cameras installed in their rooms at the discretion of family members. The bill, called the Willie Mae Ryan Act, was named for a murder victim—an 81-year-old nursing home resident who was beaten to death in her room in August 2003.

Privacy

- IIntroduced by Sen.Russell Feingold (D-WI), a new bill (S. 317) would protect the privacy of individuals by limiting government access to the records of libraries and booksellers.

ADA.

- A federal appeals court has ruled that an employer is within its rights in seeking the HIV medical records of an employee.(Douglas Gajda v. Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, No. 04-0608-cv, 2005).

Background screening

- Gene Moran was hired as a paralegal in a law firm. However, in conducting a background check after he began work, the company learned that Moran had several felony convictions. The company requested Moran's resignation. Moran asked for the records the company used to make its decision, citing the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRA). The company mailed the information a day after receiving the request. Moran filed a lawsuit claiming that the firm violated the ICRA by not providing him with the information before it made its decision. A state appeals court found in favor of the firm, ruling that it had acted in good faith and had provided the information to Moran in a reasonable amount of time. (Moran v. Murtaugh, Miller, Meyer & Nelson, California Court of Appeal, No. G033706, 2005).

Weapons

- The Illinois House Human Services Committee has approved a bill (H.B. 1098) that would prohibit the manufacture, sale, or possession of .50 caliber sniper rifles in the state. The bill, which is awaiting a vote in the full House, is designed to prevent a terrorist from using the rifle to shoot down a civilian aircraft during takeoff or landing. Violating the law would be a felony under the new measure.
 




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