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Elsewhere in the Courts: Sexual Harassment

- A federal appeals court has ruled that a sexual harassment case against Boeing can proceed. The court ruled that a jury should decide whether a Boeing employee was harassed by her coworkers. Though Boeing terminated one employee and disciplined another, the court ruled that a reasonable jury could find that these two employees were part of a larger problem at the company. (EEOC v. The Boeing Company, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 05-17386, 2008)

Workplace Safety

- A retailer that was sued after an employee was assaulted during a robbery is not liable for the employee’s injuries. According to an Ohio appellate court, despite two prior robberies, the employer could not have predicted with certainty that the injury would occur. The court ruled that the employee could not prove that the company knew an employee would be harmed because neither of the previous two robberies resulted in harm to an employee. (Toner v. Monro Muffler and Brake, Court of Appeals for Montgomery County, Ohio, No. 22227, 2008)

ADA

- A company did not discriminate against an employee when it refused to let him perform a dangerous job as long as he was taking narcotics for pain, ruled a federal appeals court, because it did not consider the employee incapable of performing less dangerous jobs.

National Security

- When issuing a national security letter under the Patriot Act, the government must justify the gag order that prevents the recipient from speaking out, according to a federal appeals court.

Four Animal Rights Activists Arrested for Protests, Assault in California

- Federal authorities last week arrested and charged four animal rights activists under a never before used federal law which protects industries and individuals that use animals in their work.

U.K. Court at Odds with Human Rights Body Over Extremist

- Fiery Islamist preacher Abu Qatada has experienced the highs and lows of competing European legal systems over the last day when the United Kingdom's Law Lords ruled he could be deported to Jordan while the European Court of Human Rights ruled he should receive £2500 for his illegal detention without trial after the events of 9-11.

Elsewhere in the Courts: Hostile Work Environment

- A theological seminary is not guilty of subjecting two female students to a hostile work environment, according to the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The students claimed that the school failed to reign in a 60-year-old seminary resident who romantically pursued the two women. The resident asked the students out for dates but did not touch them or make inappropriate comments.

Elsewhere in the Courts: Retaliation

- A man, Alshafi Tate, who was fired after ending a consensual sexual relationship with his boss cannot sue for retaliation stemming from sexual harassment, according to a federal appeals court. The retaliation claim is invalid, ruled the court, because Tate did not believe he was being sexually harassed.

Retaliation

- A man who was fired after ending a consensual sexual relationship with his boss cannot sue for retaliation stemming from sexual harassment, according to a federal appeals court.

Premises Liability

- A property management company is not liable for the death of a man who was shot and killed in a mall parking lot. The Texas Supreme Court ruled the event was not foreseeable and that the company had no duty to protect the man.

Retaliation

- An employee who was fired for illegally taping private conversations between her supervisors cannot pursue a retaliation claim against her employer, ruled a federal appeals court. The employee taped the conversations to learn more about a sexual harassment claim she had filed.

Sexual Harassment

- Companies face greater liability in sexual harassment cases if a supervisor harasses an employee, according to a recent ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Whistleblowers

- Violating standard accounting practices is insufficient to invoke whistleblower protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a federal appeals court ruled. The plaintiff in the case was fired after complaining about unorthodox accounting practices at his company.
 




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