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U.S. Supreme Court Issues Ruling in Background Screening Case

- The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a background screening program used by a government agency does not violate employee privacy rights.

No Warrant Necessary for Text Message Search

- The California Supreme Court has ruled that police do not need a warrant to search the text messages on a suspect's cell phone.

ADA

- The city of Yakima, Washington, did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act when it required one of its officers to undergo an exam to determine his fitness for duty, a federal appeals court has ruled. The officer had become increasingly volatile and had been accused of violence.

Employment

- A federal appeals court has ruled that a company’s unwritten policy denying employment to all of their job applicants with theft-related convictions was sufficient to thwart a racial discrimination lawsuit. The court ruled that the woman who claimed she was not hired because of her race could not pursue her lawsuit because her theft convictions would have disqualified her.

Pregnancy Discrimination

- A company that transferred a pregnant welder out of her job and onto light duty without first determining whether she was unable to continue in her welding position may be guilty of discrimination. A federal appeals court has ruled that the employee may pursue her lawsuit against her employer.

Supreme Court Hears Third-Party Retaliation Case

- Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could broaden the scope of federal antidiscrimination laws as they relate to retaliation in the workplace.

Supreme Court to Hear Retaliation Case

- The U.S. Supreme Court will determine whether government employees may sue their employers for violation of the First Amendment when the speech in question is a matter of private, rather than public, concern.

Searches

- Police may not use a global positioning satellite (GPS) unit to track a person’s movements for a long period of time without a warrant, because doing so violates a person’s Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Trade Secrets

- A federal court has upheld a preliminary injunction preventing a senior employee from going to work for a competitor. The employee, who was one of seven employees possessing all the knowledge to create Thomas’ English Muffins, was hired by a competitor, Hostess Brands. The court ruled that the harm presented by the potential for trade secret misappropriation outweighed the restriction of the individual’s employment.

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.
 




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