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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.

Sexual Harassment

- A federal appeals court has ruled that a male airport worker may sue his employer for sexual harassment after receiving unwanted attention from a female supervisor. A lower court had ruled in favor of the company after the worker testified that another man might not have considered the overtures harassment. The appeals court overturned the decision, ruling that the crux was that the worker found the advances unwelcome and the company’s response to the harassment was insufficient.

False Arrest

- A school teacher who was indicted and arrested for having a sexual relationship with her student may proceed with a lawsuit against the school due to a potentially biased investigation, but she may not sue the individuals involved.

Discrimination

- In the first case filed under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, an appeals court has ruled that the law applies only to discrimination in compensation. The law does not apply to other types of discrimination claims, such as failure to promote.

Supreme Court Rules on Retaliation Case

- Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that an employee may sue his employer under federal antidiscrimination laws for firing him to hurt another employee, his fiance.

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.

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.

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.

Drug Testing

- The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court ruling that would have allowed able-bodied employees to use provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act to challenge a company’s drug testing policy (.pdf). The company wanted to see if drug use was leading to its high accident rate.

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.

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.

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)
 




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