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Employer's "Super Policy" Against Harassment Requires Employer to Protect Employee Beyond That Which is Required by Law

A Costco employee suffered from Tourette's syndrome, and made complaints to management about the way his supervisors and others were treating him. He later filed charges with the Connecticut Human Rights Organization as well...more

The Approval of Recreational Marijuana Use May Change Workplace Drug Policies

Efforts to legalize marijuana secured major victories last Election Day when voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. approved laws allowing for the recreational use of a plant previously touted as the "evil weed" by the...more

SOX Squelches Arbitration of Entangled Claim

In Laubenstein v. Conair Corp., No. 5:14-cv-05227 (W.D. Ark. Nov. 19, 2014), Plaintiff claimed retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and a state-law claim for wrongful termination. A recent amendment to SOX...more

Caught Between Laws: Challenges for Health Care Providers in Using Criminal History Information in Employment Decisions

In an effort to increase protection for vulnerable patient populations, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates incentives for states to strengthen the employment background check programs available to long-term care providers....more

Oregon Initiative Legalizes Recreational Use of Marijuana—What Does that Mean for Employers?

On Nov. 4, 2014, Oregon voted to decriminalize, regulate, and tax the production, delivery, and possession of marijuana. Oregon joins Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and Washington, D.C. in legalizing recreational marijuana...more

Sixth Circuit Creates Circuit Split on Same-Sex Marriage; Tees Up Issue for Possible Supreme Court Review

Yesterday afternoon, in DeBoer v. Snyder, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an eagerly-awaited opinion, upholding laws in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee banning same-sex marriage. The court held that laws...more

Oregon Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Use

On November 4, 2014, Oregon voters approved a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana use. The new Oregon law, known as the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act, allows people 21...more

Sixth Circuit decision bucks trend on same-sex marriage

As you all know, the last several weeks and months have seen an unmistakable trend in federal court decisions paving the way for same-sex marriage in a majority of states. But just when it appeared that same-sex marriage...more

Can State Medical Marijuana Laws Trump Employer Rights?

Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws which allow a lawful level of marijuana use. One question which comes up often in such states is whether an employer can lawfully terminate an...more

Proponents of Florida's Medical Marijuana Amendment Have High Hopes But Will Its Passing Affect Your Workplace Policies?

If voters approve the ballot initiative "Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions" ("Amendment 2") this November, Florida will become the 24th state plus Washington D.C. to legalize medical marijuana. Amendment 2 would...more

Ash and Amber are Getting Married! (Judge Sedwick says so)

This is the wedding announcement to the world that our kind, smiling, infinitely patient IT person Ash is getting married. She and Amber have been together seven years and they had the wedding planned anyway, in San Diego,...more

Workplace Drug Policies and Your Corporate Culture: Four Tough Questions To Ask and Answer

For employers, enforcing workplace drug policies in states where medical marijuana use is legal could boil down to workplace values and culture. And it’s an issue companies will be facing more and more....more

Colorado Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Medical Marijuana/Discharge Case

Brandon Coats was partially paralyzed in a car crash as a teenager, using a wheelchair, and has been a medical marijuana patient since 2010 when he discovered that using pot helped calm violent seizures and muscle spasms....more

Act Now Advisory: New York State's Medical Marijuana Law Gives Workplace Anti-Discrimination Protection

On July 7, 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo publicly signed into law New York State's first marijuana legalization law—the Compassionate Care Act ("Act"). The Act (which was actually signed on July 5, 2014, after weeks of...more

IRCA Does Not Preempt FEHA, But Limits Available Remedies

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., the California Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act (“IRCA”) preempts the application of the antidiscrimination provisions of...more

Will Minnesota's New Medical Marijuana Law Leave Employers High and Dry?

Minnesota recently became the 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana use and, as part of the new law, to enact new potential employment protections for registered users of medical marijuana. Minnesota’s new marijuana law...more

Employment Law Believe It Or Not!

I thought only elephants had two-year pregnancies. As I’ve discussed here before, “pregnancy” for purposes of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act includes a lot of things besides the actual nine months of physical...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Resolve Current Appellate Court Split on EEOC’s Conciliation Obligations

In December 2013, we reported on the Seventh Circuit’s controversial decision in EEOC v. Mach Mining, in which the Court exacerbated the already existing split amongst federal appellate courts regarding the EEOC’s obligation...more

Unauthorized Work Status Does Not Bar Discrimination Claims

In Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., the California Supreme Court held that an undocumented worker who was wrongfully terminated in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) may be awarded lost pay...more

California Supreme Court: "Illegal Immigrant Shouldn't Have Been Hired – But Can't Be Fired Illegally"

On June 26, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided that an employee may proceed with a discrimination lawsuit even though he presented false work authorization documents to obtain employment in the first place....more

New York State Legislature Approves Use of Medical Marijuana; Users to Be Considered "Disabled" Under State Human Rights Law

On June 20, 2014, the New York state legislature approved a bill that would allow patients to use marijuana for limited medical therapeutic purposes. Governor Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law. The bill will not...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Employment Discrimination Decisions - Number 46: How To Deal With Employees Using...

Fifty years ago when Title VII became law and 23 years ago when the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, it would be inconceivable that someone would be blogging about accommodating employees by allowing them to smoke...more

Employment Law - June 2014 #3

Employers Win, Lose in Latest California Supreme Court Opinion on Arbitration - Why it matters: The California Supreme Court continued its complicated relationship with employment agreements and arbitration on June 23...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Employment Discrimination Decisions - Number 41: Discrimination Laws Apply To...

Illegal immigration is one of the biggest political issues of the 21st Century in the United States, as both political parties support the reform of immigration laws in one way or another. Until the laws are reformed, the...more

Five Things Every Arizona Employer Should Know About Medical Marijuana

Subject to certain narrowly drawn exceptions, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act ("AMMA") prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals who are authorized to use medical marijuana. The principal exception to this...more

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