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Discrimination

- A new law (formerly H.B. 2661) prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Under the new law, an employer may not refuse to hire someone or make any hiring inquiry into a person's sexual orientation. A company also may not discharge someone or discriminate in compensation based on sexual orientation. The new designation allows employees who feel they have been discriminated against to sue their employers for back pay, reinstatement, and emotional distress.

Retaliation

- The California Supreme Court has ruled that employees need not complain to their companies about discrimination in order to have the right to later sue them for retaliation.

Negligent Retention

- Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that an employee hired to work in a Ford Motor Company cafeteria

Workplace Violence

- A federal appeals court has refused to overrule a union grievance board’s decision to reinstate a pilot after he was fired after violating workplace violence rules. The court noted that the pilot’s actions, shooting a gun at a DVD containing a union agreement and then distributing a video of the shooting, was a political statement, not an act of violence. (NetJets Aviation, Inc., v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, No. 063851, 2007)

Drug Testing

- The Connecticut General Assembly is considering a bill (H.B. 6297) that would allow employers to conduct random drug tests on certain employees. Under the bill, tests could be required of those in aviation, public safety, and homeland security positions.

Workplace Violence

- The U.S. Post Office’s firing of an employee for violating its zero-tolerance workplace violence policy was not in retaliation for the employee’s prior workers’ compensation claims, ruled a federal appeals court. Because the employee violated the policy, his firing could not have been a pretext.

Religious Discrimination

- A female Muslim police officer was not discriminated against by the city of Philadelphia, ruled a federal court, when it refused to allow her to wear an Islamic headscarf.

Negligent Misrepresentation

- A New Jersey court has ruled that an employer who chooses to give references on former employees can be held liable for misleading or incomplete information given on those references. In the case, Marsha Singer was fired after her previous employer lied about her job title, calling her a customer service representative when she was actually vice president of operations. (Singer v. Beach Trading, Superior Court of New Jersey, No. A-1617-04T5, 2005)

Noncompete Agreement

- An employee filed a preemptive lawsuit against an employer, claiming that the noncompete agreement prohibiting him from working for a competitor was not enforceable.

Negligent Hiring

- An Illinois court has ruled that a national organization established to help children cannot be held responsible for the sexual abuse of a child at its Chicago location.

NASA Scientists Rebel Against Background Checks

- 28 Scientists Refuse Bush Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12

Judge Stops DHS Crackdown on Illegal Hires

- Last Friday, a federal judge in San Francisco stopped the Department of Homeland Security from beginning its crackdown aimed at U.S. employers who hire undocumented workers. The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by a coaliton of labor, civil rights, and immigrant rights activists.

New DHS Rules Will Hurt Farmers, Industry Says

- Vermont farmers fear new Department of Homeland Security rules will unnecessarily penalize them for hiring foreign workers found to have inauthentic identification papers.
 




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