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Federal Court Dismisses Employer’s Claims For Indemnification and Contribution Against Drug Testing Vendor After False Positive Drug Test Result

A federal court in South Dakota granted a motion to strike and a motion to dismiss filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the laboratory that conducted drug tests for the Defendant employer, holding that the employer was not entitled to seek indemnification or contribution from the laboratory for damages based on a false positive drug test result. EEOC v. M.G. Oil Company, No. 4:16-4131-KES, (D.S.D. August 10, 2017).

Artificial Intelligence Enabled Cybersecurity Systems

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) enabled cybersecurity systems is increasing dramatically. By 2018, sixty-two percent of all companies are projected to use AI technologies.

Ninth Circuit Revisits Article III Standing For An Alleged FCRA Violation

On August 15, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued another opinion in the saga of Robins v. Spokeo, Inc.—a case dealing with the question of what violations of a federal statute are sufficient to confer Article III standing. The plaintiff alleges Spokeo violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) by reporting inaccurate information about him. While the district court dismissed for lack of standing, the Ninth Circuit reversed and found that the plaintiff established an injury-in-fact. In May 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s opinion and declared that a plaintiff does not “automatically” have the requisite injury-in-fact “whenever a statute grants a person a statutory right and purports to authorize that person to sue to vindicate that right.”

In the First Case of its Kind, Court Rules Federal Law Does Not Trump Employee Protections under State Medical Marijuana Law

Employers nationwide take note: if your workplace drug and alcohol-testing policies take a zero tolerance approach to medical marijuana because the use, distribution, or possession of marijuana is unlawful under federal law, a recent federal court decision interpreting state law could be a game-changer. On August 8, 2017, in Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company LLC, d/b/a Bride Brook Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, a Connecticut federal district court held that various federal laws prohibiting use and sale of marijuana do not preempt Connecticut’s Palliative Use of Marijuana Act (PUMA), which protects employees and job applicants from employment discrimination based on medical marijuana use permitted under state law.

Don’t Let a Legal Claim Eclipse This Solar Event

On the afternoon of August 21, 2017, the first total eclipse to touch the U.S. mainland since 1979 will cut a “path of totality” through the Carolinas (including Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston). While communities along its path are preparing for eclipse viewing events and throngs of visitors and spectators, Monday undoubtedly will be business as usual for many employers.

How to Launch an Employment Discrimination, Harassment, Diversity or Affirmative Action Initiative on a Global Scale

Equal employment opportunity initiatives—human resources policies, handbook and code of conduct provisions, compliance standards, training modules and dispute resolution procedures that address discrimination, harassment and diversity—have long been vital to U.S. employers. In the global economy, the equal employment opportunity issue has gone global. As American-headquartered multinationals align an ever-increasing list of human resources policies and “offerings” internationally, cross-border efforts at promoting workplace fairness have become increasingly vital, but also increasingly complex

Education Department Signals Possible Changes to Sexual Misconduct Dear Colleague Letter

The Department of Education Office for Civil Rights has suggested that it is considering significant changes to or rescission of the April 4, 2011, Dear Colleague Letter on schools’ obligations to respond to sexual misconduct (“2011 DCL”).

Seventh Circuit Finds No Standing When Background Check Disclosures Contain Extraneous Information

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has become the second federal court of appeals to weigh in on an important legal issue for employers in defending against expensive, increasingly common Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class action lawsuits. On August 1, 2017, the Seventh Circuit held that a plaintiff who alleged extraneous information in a background check disclosure form, without more, lacks the necessary Article III standing to maintain a lawsuit. Groshek v Time Warner Cable, Inc., No. 16-2711.

D.C. Circuit Concludes Heightened Risk of Future Identity Theft Enough for Standing in Data Breach Class Action

Much to the dismay of companies, on August 1, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit made it easier for plaintiffs, and their attorneys, to bring class action data breach cases. In Attias v. CareFirst, Inc., Case No. 16-7108, the Court concluded that the plaintiffs’ heightened risk of future identity theft was sufficient to show standing at the pleading stage. With CareFirst, the D.C. Circuit becomes the second U.S. Court of Appeals to reach this conclusion. The Second Circuit, in Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Grp., 794 F.3d 688 (7th Cir. 2015), was the first.

New Sexual Violence Prevention Education Policy Adopted by National Collegiate Athletic Association

Coaches, athletics administrators, and student-athletes must be educated in sexual violence prevention under a policy adopted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Board of Governors on August 8, 2017.
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