As we have previously noted, students at several prestigious universities have recently filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) alleging that the universities failed to meet their legal obligations to investigate charges of sexual assault. This prompted ED to admonish universities to remember that retaliation against individuals who file a civil rights complaint is a violation of federal law.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is in the midst of waging a massive anti-corruption campaign in response to rampant complaints about graft, official misconduct and corporate malfeasance. The campaign has targeted both companies and government officials, regardless of their political affiliation.
In the United Kingdom, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has filed charges against an independent financial advisor and the former Chief Executive Officer and Financial Controller of an investment company for “making and accepting a financial advantage” in violation of the UK Bribery Act. The SFO also charged all three individuals with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to furnish false information to investors. The agency did not, however, seek any prosecution of the investment company that had employed the defendants at the time of the alleged offenses.
A white employee does not have standing to sue celebrity chef Paula Deen under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act based on allegations that Deen injured her by discriminating against African-American employees of Deen's restaurant, a federal court in Georgia ruled last week.
A health plan recently received a costly reminder that protected health information (PHI) may lurk in the hard drives of photocopiers and other office equipment. Earlier this month, Affinity Health Plan, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that provides healthcare coverage within the New York metropolitan area, agreed to a $1.2 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for its violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
Commentators expect that the American Medical Association's (AMA) recent passage of Resolution 420, Recognition of Obesity as a Disease, will increase the number of obese people who are entitled to relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Resolution officially recognizes obesity as a "disease state with multiple pathological aspects," citing an "overabundance of clinical evidence to identify obesity as a multi-metabolic and hormonal disease state." While the Resolution is not a law, courts are likely to consider it in disability lawsuits.
Silicon Valley's greatest innovators were men in their early twenties, usually wearing T-shirts and jeans, who zestfully worked marathon hours in obscure places for little or no money to achieve greatness. Ever since, youth culture has figured large in the high-tech industry.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit recently held that employers are not automatically liable for health and safety violations committed by a single supervisor. In order to hold an employer accountable, the court found that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must prove the company had knowledge of the supervisor’s misconduct and that the violative acts actually occurred. This ruling adds a unique spin to the widely accepted standard that a supervisor’s knowledge of employee violations is imputed to his or her employer.
California Governor Jerry Brown last week signed into law Senate Bill 292, which amends California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to make it clear that a plaintiff suing for sexual harassment does not have to prove that the harassment was motivated by sexual desire. The legislation overturned the California Court of Appeal's 2011 decision in Kelley v. The Conco Companies.
The Obama administration's recent blueprint for Title IX compliance for colleges and universities has created a stir among conservative, libertarian and academic groups who claim the blueprint's definition of sexual harassment is unconstitutional.