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Hostile Work Environment

- A black nursing assistant can pursue a hostile work environment lawsuit against her employer. The hostile environment was allegedly created when the employer acceded to the preferences of racially biased patients who refused to be treated by black nurses.

Discrimination

- New York City has been ordered by a federal judge to stop using its entry-level firefighter examination. The test, which includes 195 multiple-choice questions that measure cognitive ability, personal traits, and memorization, does not measure whether applicants are qualified to be firefighters, according to the judge. And it disproportionately excludes black and Hispanic applicants.

School District Settles Lawsuit Brought Over Webcam Spying

- A suburban Philadelphia school district has agreed to pay $610,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by students who claimed that district employees spied on the students using two-way Webcams that were incorporated into school-issued laptops.(Corrected)

Elsewhere in the Courts: ADA

- A federal court has ruled that an employee who failed to disclose his diagnosis of depression cannot later make a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the case, the employee alleging that he was “stressed” and “anxious” did not constitute a formal request for accommodation of a disability.

U.S. Judicial Decisions: Defamation

- A woman may pursue a lawsuit against her employer after a company executive falsely accused her of illegally pulling a fire alarm. The woman was arrested and charged in the incident. According to a federal court, the woman may pursue her allegations of defamation, invasion of privacy, negligent intention of emotional distress, and false imprisonment.

Hostile Work Environment

- A court has ruled that a woman may pursue her hostile work environment claim even though the gender-based slurs at the root of the case were not made exclusively to one gender. The appeals court overturned a lower court’s ruling that the comments made by the abuser were not pervasive enough and that they didn’t create a hostile environment because his abuse was indiscriminate.

Workplace Searches

- The employee of a federal correctional institution may pursue his lawsuit against the facility after he was fired for refusing to submit to a search of his vehicle. The question of whether inmates could access employees’ parked cars and potentially plant contraband cast doubt on the constitutionality of the search, said the court in its decision, available online.

Workplace Safety

- An employee who claimed that his erratic driving behavior was caused by a workplace toxin rather than alcohol cannot contest his DWI conviction. Read the decision in which the court noted that the law prohibits driving while impaired by any substance whether taken voluntarily or due to workplace exposure.

Lawmakers Seek to Close Corruption Loophole

- The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Tuesday to discuss a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, which narrowed the application of federal law that prosecutors had used to bring fraud cases against corrupt corporate executives and politicians.

Age Discrimination

- An employee who was not rehired after a layoff because he was “troublesome” may not sue his former employer for age discrimination. A federal appeals court ruled that the employee’s history of disputes with coworkers and his poor reputation in the workplace served as a nondiscriminatory reason for refusing to rehire him.

Investigations

- An employee may not sue her employer for retaliation after the company failed to investigate her original discrimination claim, a federal appeals court has ruled. Failure to investigate in such instances does not constitute an adverse employment action, according to the court.

Weapons

- A Colorado state law allows students to carry concealed weapons at the University of Colorado, according to a state appeals court. The court noted that the statute does not list public universities in its list of exceptions. Read the decision.

Morning Security Brief: NIST Issues Testing Procedures, Dreadlocks Not a Clear Sign of Religion, and HHS Withdraws Privacy Rule

- New cybersecurity procedures for testing health information are issued; an applicant who sued a security guard company may not pursue his religious discrimination claim; and a federal health agency has withdrawn a final rule over privacy concerns.
 




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