05/28/2008 - A company’s failure to have its employees sign an arbitration agreement as stated in its company handbook means that workers did not agree to binding arbitration, according to a California appeals court.
05/28/2008 - The admissibility of testimony in discrimination cases given by persons in a situation similar to that of the plaintiff, also known as “me too” evidence, must be decided on a case-by-case basis, says the U.S. Supreme Court.
04/30/2008 - The California Supreme Court has ruled that a company that fired an employee for medical marijuana use did not discriminate against the worker. The court noted that nothing in the state law making medical marijuana use legal indicated that it was applicable to the workplace.
04/30/2008 - A federal district court has ruled that a company cannot compel plaintiffs in a discrimination case to produce their medical and psychological records. The court also ruled that plaintiffs did not have to provide arrest records as requested by the defense. The court pointed out that this request was especially egregious because the company did not conduct background checks on applicants to screen for prior arrests.
04/30/2008 - A bill (H.R. 3685) introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) that would make it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation has been approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate has agreed to consider the measure.
04/30/2008 - A federal appeals court has ruled that a hospital is not required to accommodate the restrictions on a nurse’s working environment brought about by her drug dependency. In the written opinion of the case, the court noted that “Dovenmuehler’s case is unique because her claimed disability has a peculiar feature. Certain behavior, while consistent with her claimed disability, also happens to be illegal. Such conduct is not protected by the ADA.”
04/29/2008 - An organization cannot halt an internal investigation once a federal discrimination suit has been filed, an appellate court said, because it constitutes retaliation against the employee who made the complaint.
02/29/2008 - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced an increase in racial discrimination lawsuits filed with the agency. Racial discrimination cases overall have risen from 3,075 in 1991 to more than 7,000 in 2007.
02/29/2008 - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has required one brokerage house to pay $12.5 million for lying about the destruction of millions of e-mails relating to an arbitration hearing.