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Discrimination

- An employer is liable for discrimination against an employee who was also a member of the U.S. Army Reserves, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court ruled that even though the person who fired the reservist had no discriminatory motives, she relied on information from those who did.

Liability Lessons for Hospitals

- By understanding what leads to lawsuits against hospitals, healthcare organizations can reduce the risk of litigation.

Morning Security Brief: Patriot Act Extension Approved, Arizona Law Passes Muster, and IRS Tackles Identity Theft

- President Obama signs Patriot Act extension, the U.S. Supreme Court approves Arizona illegal immigrant law, and the IRS tackles identity theft.

Morning Security Brief: Immigration Program Scrutinized, Medical Marijuana Mixes with Handguns, and Border Searches Questioned

- Lawmakers question a federal program designed to root out illegal aliens, the Oregon high court has ruled that a medical marijuana patient may carry a handgun, and a report alleges that border searches violate the Constitution.

Elsewhere in the Courts: Employment

- A federal appeals court has ruled that an employee who was terminated for taking seven weeks of unapproved leave may not sue her employer under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The court ruled that the employee’s spiritual healing trip was not protected under the statute because it was actually a vacation.

State Legislation: Kansas: Discrimination

- A new bill (S.B. 53) introduced in Kansas would expand state discrimination laws to prohibit discrimination by employers based on sexual orientation. Currently, employees are only protected from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, and disability.

False Arrest

- A federal appeals court has found that a police officer who relied on a faulty arrest warrant when detaining a suspect is not liable for that error. The court ruled that the officer’s actions were reasonable because he relied on the New York state database of former and current convicts, a reliable source, to identify a suspect.

Social Media

- A company that fired one of its employees for posting a negative comment about her supervisor on Facebook has settled with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB argued that the company’s social media policy was too broad and infringed upon employees’ protected right to discuss their employment. As part of the settlement, the company agreed to change its rules.

Religious Discrimination

- A couple hired to manage a housing complex may sue their employer for religious discrimination and failure to accommodate their religious beliefs after they were fired for refusing to remove a piece of religious artwork from their office, a federal appeals court has ruled. The court ruled that the housing complex must demonstrate why it could not meet a request to accommodate the plaintiffs’ religious beliefs.

Employment

- A contentious workplace and abrasive supervisor do not rise to the level of employment discrimination, according to a federal appeals court. A new supervisor whose “tough, insensitive, and unfair” behavior was seen as discriminatory by female employees was judged to have been unpleasant to everyone and, thus, not guilty of discrimination.

Search Warrant

- Police do not need a warrant to search the text messages on the cell phone of a suspect, the California Supreme Court has ruled. In the case, law enforcement officers arrested Gregory Diaz on suspicion of purchasing Ecstasy. Once Diaz was in custody, officers seized his cell phone and found evidence to support charges of drug dealing.

Plaintiffs May Sue the Government Over Warrantless Spying

- A federal appeals court has ruled that the plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of the government’s warrantless wiretapping law do have standing to pursue their case.

Supreme Court Rules that Employer Discriminated Against Reservist Employee

- The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an employer is liable for discrimination against an employee who was also a member of the U.S. Army Reserves. The Court ruled that even though the person who fired the reservist had no discriminatory motives, she relied on information from those who did.
 




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