Communications & Media Civil Rights

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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DOJ Shifts Position on Web Access: Stating In Court Filings That Public Accommodations Have a “Pre-Existing” Obligation to Make...

What a difference five years makes. In September 2010, the Justice Department (DOJ) announced in an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that it would issue new regulations under Title III of the ADA to address the...more

EEOC Encouraged to Address Social Media and “But-for” Causation in Revising Guidance on Retaliation

At a meeting of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, convened to address the explosive growth of retaliation charges last week, witnesses made a variety of recommendations, including that the agency revise its...more

Does Your Website or Mobile App Discriminate?

Are you confident that your business complies with federal anti-discrimination laws? If you offer goods or services to the public through the Internet, the answer may not be as simple as you think. Increasingly, lawsuits...more

Telecommuting May Not Always Be a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

An en banc panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Court) recently upheld the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Ford Motor Company in EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, on the basis that telecommuting was not...more

AT&T Petitions FCC to Replace TTY with Real-Time Text for Hearing Impaired Communications

On Friday, AT&T submitted a Petition for Rulemaking to the FCC, requesting that the Commission update its rules requiring support for text telephone (TTY) technology. The petition asks the FCC to launch a proceeding to...more

NC General Assembly Overrides Veto of Property Protection Bill

Last week, the North Carolina House and Senate overrode Governor McCrory’s veto of legislation intended to shield employers from video or other data or documents release by employees. H.B. 405, called the “ag-gag” bill by...more

Alert: New Video Game Accessibility Requirements Starting in October

The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 ("CVAA") requires video game equipment, software and related services to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. The CVAA...more

Sixth Circuit Changes Course on Proof Required to Show Protected Whistleblower Activity Under SOX

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) provides anti-retaliation protection to whistleblowers who engage in “protected activity.” To engage in protected activity under SOX, the whistleblower must provide information to the Securities...more

"WTF", Under the NLRB, Employers Should "Cut the Crap?" The NLRB on Employer Rules, Handbooks, and Increased Employee...

As you have likely seen by now, on March 18, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel ("GC") issued an extensive memorandum offering guidance on employer rules and handbooks. This memorandum...more

Must Schools Protect Teachers from Bullying by Students Online?

A lawsuit filed by a California teacher against the school district where she works puts a new spin on an old problem. As the National School Boards Association reported, the suit, filed last week by Amy Sulkis in the Los...more

Connecticut Limits Employer Access to Employees’ Personal Online Accounts

On May 19, 2015, Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut signed Public Act No. 15-6, entitled “An Act Concerning Employee Online Privacy” (“Act”), which will prohibit employers in Connecticut from requiring access to their...more

Proposed Web Accessibility Regulations for Public Accommodations Delayed Yet Again

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has once again pushed back the anticipated issue date for proposed regulations governing accessibility of online content for places of public accommodation governed by Title III of the...more

Website Regulations Update: Public Accommodations Proposed Regs Further Delayed BUT State and Local Proposed Rules Due Out. . ....

According to the Spring 2015 Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will issue no proposed regulations for public accommodations websites until least April 2016 — nearly...more

Alert: FCC Expands Disability Access Requirements to Tablets, Laptops and Smartphones

Consistent with its recent actions expanding the Federal Communications Commission's ("FCC") oversight of the Internet and of privacy, the FCC has further extended its reach in another area—disability access. Expanding on its...more

Connecticut Restricts Employer Access to Personal Social Media, E-mail and Online Retail Accounts of Employees and Applicants

On May 19, 2015, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new statute restricting an employer’s ability to gain access to social media, e-mail and other personal online accounts of employees and job...more

Is Your Social Media Policy Overbroad?

The NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel recently published an advice memorandum regarding an employer’s social media policy that provides yet another example of the NLRB’s disapproval of policies that use overbroad language...more

Second Circuit Rules PATRIOT Act Does Not Authorize Government's Bulk Telephone Metadata Collection Program

In yet another reminder of the importance of maintaining the privacy of personal information, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in ACLU v. Clapper, issued a unanimous decision striking down the National Security Agency’s...more

NLRB General Counsel's Recent Report on Work Rules Tracks Areas to Watch - Employers of Union and Non-Union Work Forces Need to Be...

For the last several years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the "Board") has engaged in a well-publicized expansion of scrutiny for employer work rules and has liberally identified those rules that it believes...more

Legal Help with Labor and Employment Disputes

Scenario No. 1: One of your key employees e-mails you to tell you the stress of the job has given her medical problems, and that this situation is made worse by the breakup of her relationship with one of your managers. You...more

Technology And The Workplace

How Email And Texting Are Transforming Business Interactions - The automotive industry has embraced technology. Most dealerships have installed business development centers, and Internet departments to attract the...more

New ACLU App Will Allow Californians to Capture and Share Video on Police Encounters

In response to the increasing tensions between law enforcement agencies and the public, the ACLU announced it is launching an app to allow people to film law enforcement officers in action and automatically download a copy of...more

Social Media: Strategy and Implementation - Are you protected?

With more companies utilizing social media as a part of doing business, are you protecting yourself and your business from issues that can arise when implementing these strategies? Where do you stand legally when employees...more

NSBA to OCR: Standard for Addressing Requests for Technology by Students With a Communication Impairment is Off Key

Readers of our FR Alerts may remember my colleague Kendra B. Yoch authored an Alert in 2013 about a set of outlier cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District and D.H. v. Poway Unified...more

NLRB Report Targets Unlawful Employer Handbook Rules

On March 18, the National Labor Relations Board's Office of the General Counsel (OGC) published a Report Concerning Employer Rules that discusses a variety of employee handbook rules addressed by the board in recent cases....more

Think Your Handbook Is Legally Compliant? NLRB Says, “Think Again”

In the most recent memorandum issued by the General Counsel (“GC”) of the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) regarding workplace policies, memorandum GC 15-04, the Board offers employers new guidance on how to craft...more

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