June 2015 Legal Report Resources
Discrimination. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed a woman suing her former employer for pregnancy discrimination to take her case back to court. Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote in the majority opinion that the woman deserved another chance to prove that the company had treated her differently from “a large percentage of nonpregnant workers” who might have been offered accommodations.
Whistleblowers. A federal appeals court denied a man’s petition of a claim to a whistleblower award as he submitted information to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted.
Discrimination. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to prohibit employment discrimination in state and local government sectors. The MOU includes provisions to coordinate the investigation of charges of discrimination on the basis of any characteristic protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Information sharing. President Barack Obama signed an executive order that encourages the development of information sharing and analysis organizations (ISAOs) for cybersecurity information sharing and collaboration within the private sector and between it and the government.
Cybersecurity. The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee passed a bill that would create incentives to increased cybersecurity threat information sharing and grant liability protections to the private sector. The bill—the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015—directs increased sharing of classified and unclassified information about cyber threats with the private sector.
Corruption. The National Assembly of South Korea passed anticorruption legislation that affects journalists, teachers, and public servants who accept single cash donations or gifts for more than 1 million won (approximately $910). Under the new law, public servants, teachers, and journalists face fines or up to three years in prison for accepting gifts over the value limit, regardless of if there is evidence of bribery or influence peddling.
Discrimination. Arkansas passed legislation that prohibits local governments from passing ordinances to protect LGBT people from discrimination. Gov. Asa Hutchinson did not sign the bill (S.B. 202) into law, but took no action on the legislation for five days, allowing it to be passed automatically. The law will prevent counties and cities in Arkansas from enacting or enforcing laws that ban sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination.
Financial crime. Utah enacted a law that will create the United States’ first public white collar crime offender registry website. The state attorney general is tasked with creating the Utah White Collar Crime Offender Registry, which will include names and recent photographs of offenders since late 2005, along with their date of birth, height, weight, and eye and hair color.
Reporting. A federal court denied the U.S. Department of Justice’s motion to dismiss a case that challenges the government’s use of a nationwide program that collects, vets, and disseminates intelligence with a possible nexus to terrorism. The case alleges that the DOJ has issued protocols that use an overly broad standard to define the types of activities that should be deemed as “having a potential nexus to terrorism.”
Terrorism. Five High Court judges declared clauses of the Kenyan Security Laws Act unconstitutional and violations of fundamental human rights that did not add value to the fight against terrorism. The ruling strikes down provisions that would have punished media practitioners, that would have allowed prolonged detention of individuals, and six other provisions.
Surveillance. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) over its mass interception and searching of Americans’ international communications. The ACLU is challenging the NSA’s use of “upstream” surveillance, which allows the federal government to monitor almost all international text-based communications through the Internet.