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Elsewhere in the Courts: ADA

- A hospital employee may not pursue his lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because he was not qualified for the job. The employee’s requested accommodation—teaching hospital physicians and staff the symptoms and triggers of Asperger’s syndrome—was not an issue, according to the court. The hospital did not need to make the accommodation because the employee was unable to perform an essential function of his job, interacting with patients. The court also noted that the employee rejected the hospital’s offer to help him find a job in pathology or another specialty that required little or no patient interaction.

U.S. Judicial Decisions: Retaliation

- The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an employee, fired after his coworker fiancée filed a sexual discrimination lawsuit against their employer, may sue for discrimination. The Court ordered that a lower court make a decision on the case.

Legal Report

- A government report examines how sexual predators become school employees, and court decisions on the theft of proprietary documents, retaliation, workplace safety, and privacy.

Elsewhere in the Courts: Discovery

- A district court judge has ruled that the jury in a breach-of-contract case be instructed to draw a “negative inference” over the mishandling of electronic discovery. In the case, two former employees are suing SanDisk over ownership of a software program. At trial, SanDisk claimed to have lost the hard drives for the computers used by the two former employees despite being warned to keep all potential evidence.

Elsewhere in the Courts: ADA

- A federal appeals court has ruled that a deaf employee may sue his employer for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act because the company failed to provide the employee with a sign language interpreter at critical meetings. Instead, a coworker provided written notes of the meetings, which often included only main points and failed to note questions and answers.

State Legislation: Mississippi: Data Security

- A new Mississippi law (formerly H.B. 583) requires that companies notify customers of any data security breach (.pdf) if the company reasonably believes that information has been compromised. The bill includes an exception allowing notification to be delayed if it would impede a criminal investigation or harm national security.

State Legislation: Virginia: Background Checks

- A new law (formerly H.B. 690) in Virginia will require those who work with public transit services undergo a criminal background check. The law applies to employees hired directly by the government as well as those working through an independent contractor.

U.S. Regulatory Issues: Genetic Discrimination

- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a final rule implementing the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008. The law makes it illegal for employers to collect genetic information on employees or to discriminate against employees or prospective employees on the basis of genetic data or family medical history. While many of the law’s provisions apply to health insurance providers, the EEOC rule addresses the use of genetic information in the workplace.

Legal Report

- An appeals court has ruled that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 applies only to discrimination in compensation, and a school teacher may proceed with a lawsuit against her employer due to a potentially biased investigation, but she may not sue the individuals involved.

State Legislation: Hawaii: Guard Training

- A new law (formerly S.B. 2165) in Hawaii sets out training, testing, and continuing education requirements for security guards and those “acting in a guard capacity.” Before starting work as a security guard, individuals must complete eight hours of classroom instruction, pass a written exam, and undergo four hours of on-the-job training. All guards must also undergo a federal criminal background check.

State Legislation: Illinois: School Safety

- A new law (previously H.B. 4647) in Illinois requires that the Chicago school system establish a violence-prevention hotline. The hotline will be developed in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department, and each call that comes in to the hotline will be answered by police department staff. Police will be required to record and investigate each call.

Legal Report

- A company's unwritten employment policies pass legal muster and a school district settles a privacy case with students. Also, a government agency examines whether businesses should consider credit history when hiring.

Legal Report

- A review of the legislation approved by the 11th Congress as well as a look at measures that failed to pass this session.
 




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