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Legal Report

- A review of cases the Supreme Court declined to hear, covering the ADA, a hostile workplace, campus safety, and retaliation; also, legislation on cybercrime and immigration.

Elsewhere in the Courts: ADA

- Victor Breehe has filed a lawsuit against a Black & Decker manufacturing plant in Tennessee. Breehe failed a medical test used to predict whether an employee is likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Breehe claims that the test discriminates against those the company considers disabled, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Review: Campus Safety

- A federal appeals court has ruled that a university cannot be held liable for an accident that killed 12 students and injured 27 others. The school, ruled the court, is protected from such lawsuits by qualified immunity—a legal theory that prevents government officials from being sued except in cases where a person’s constitutional rights are knowingly violated.

Review: ADA

- A federal appeals court ruled that a company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it refused to let an employee return to work after he had a seizure.

U.S. Supreme Court Review

- The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear dozens of cases in its 2007-2008 session. However, it declined to hear more than 2,500 cases. This means that those not granted review by the Court remain unchanged. Some of the cases the Court rejected have implications for security professionals and managers in general. Following are a few of these decisions on topics including the ADA, hostile workplace, campus safety, and retaliation.

Trade Secrets

- Two employees must pay their previous employer $4 million in damages for selling their consulting firm’s trade secrets, a federal appeals court ruled, upholding a prior jury verdict.

Discrimination

- A fired guidance counselor who promoted abstinence-only policies was not discriminated against, ruled a federal appeals court, because she was terminated for not following school policy rather than for her beliefs.

Employment Law

- The family of an employee who died of a heart attack while playing basketball at work is entitled to worker’s compensation. Playing basketball during breaks, while voluntary, occurred frequently and was condoned by senior managers.

Campus Security

- A federal appeals court has ruled that a university student who was sexually assaulted by a football recruit may sue the university. The court noted that several sexual assault and harassment complaints had been filed against the university’s football program but the university failed to take action.

Timekeeping

- A restaurant that had employees clock in 15 minutes before the start of their shift violated labor laws, a federal judge ruled, because they were not paid for those 15 minutes.

Concealed Weapons

- A federal district court struck down an Oklahoma law allowing employees to carry weapons onto the private property of their employer.

Slander

- The manager of a grocery store did not slander an employee when he told other workers that the employee had failed a drug test, a state appeals court ruled, because the statement was true.

Corporate aviation

- The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Aviation held a hearing to discuss whether general aviation, which includes corporate and private aircraft, will be allowed to operate out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Most of the witnesses represented industry groups and were in favor of returning general aviation to the airport immediately.
 




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