Tag Archives: legal

Follow up: Rulings Against Sheriff Arpaio

A while back images where shown of Sheriff Arpaio, from Arizona, having 220 immigrants march in a line with shackles.  (One story here).  This story, among others, prompted lawsuits against Arpaio. The first case granted an injunction against Arpaio and the Sheriff’s Office.  The second case ruled that the Human Smuggling Act (which allowed the arrest and prosecution of immigrants).

It is interesting to point out that these decisions came before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision (Oct. 8, 2013), discussed here, which held Arizona S.B. 1070 was void and preempted.

In Manuel de Jesus Ortega Melendres v. Arpaio, No. CV-07-02513-PHX-GMS (D. Ariz. Oct. 2, 2013), U.S. District Court Judge Snow granted an injunction and listed reforms in which Arpaio and the Maricopa Sheriff’s Office must comply with.  This list includes, for example:

  • Supervisors shall provide effective supervision necessary to direct and guide Deputies.  Some of these include, for example: Respond to certain arrests; confirm the accuracy and completeness of Deputies’ daily reports;and hold Deputies accountable.
  • Supervisors enforcing Immigration-Related laws will directly supervise law enforcement activities.
  • Appointment of a federal independent monitor;
  • Hiring a Community Liaison Officer who is a sworn Deputy fluent in English and Spanish; and
  • Video recorder in every patrol car to record every traffic stop.

In We are America v. Maricopa County Bd. of Supervisors, No. CIV 06-2816-PHX-RCB (Sept. 27, 2013), U.S. District Court Judge Broomfield enjoined Arizona’s Maricopa Migrant Conspiracy Policy.

Sheriff Arpaio created this policy based on the Human Smuggling Act, Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-2319 which allowed for the arrest and prosecution of immigrants for “conspiring to transport themselves within Maricopa County.”

District Court Judge, like the reasoning of the 9th Circuit a few days later, ruled that the statute was preempted by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.

The court also certified the class, which included “all individuals who pay taxes to Maricopa County and object to the use of county tax revenues to stop, detain, arrest, incarcerate, prosecute or penalize individuals for conspiring to transport themselves, and themselves only, in violation of Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-2319 [Human Smuggling Act].”

via Courthouse News Service.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under civil rights, courts, discrimination, federal, immigration, legal decision, state

EEOC’s First GINA Suit Settlement

The first settlement between the EEOC and an employer over GINA is important because it brings attention to this relatively new law.  EEOC charges alleging GINA violations have increased each year.  Consequently, it is important for employers to ensure their policies and procedures are compliant with GINA procedures.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) went into effect in 2009.  Some of GINA’s regulations are as follows.

  • It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or applicants based on their genetic information.
  • Employers cannot request or obtain genetic information, which includes any information about an employee or an applicant’s family history.
  • GINA also applies to third parties.  So, employers cannot request or obtain family medical history, even through a third-party medical provider or examiner.
  • There are exceptions for voluntary health risk assessments.  However, if the employee is receiving an incentive for completion of the Health Risk Assessment, the employer must make clear that an employee need not answer any of the questions about family medical history in order to obtain the incentive.

On May 7, 2013, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) reached a milestone of sorts as it filed – and then settled – its first complaint ever alleging genetic discrimination under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”).

The EEOC filed suit in Oklahoma federal court against Fabricut Inc., one of the world’s largest distributors of decorative fabrics, alleging that Fabricut violated GINA and the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by unlawfully asking a job applicant for her family medical history in a pre-employment, post-job offer medical examination, and allegedly rescinding her job offer based on the belief that she had carpal tunnel syndrome.

The EEOC and Fabricut reached a settlement, which is the first settlement in a GINA case.  In the consent decree, Fabricut agreed to pay $50,000 but did not admit to violating GINA or the ADA.

via EEOC’s First GINA Suit Serves As Reminder of Pre-Employment Exam Pitfall | Proskauer Rose LLP – JDSupra.

Leave a comment

Filed under civil rights, discrimination, employment, federal, regulations, rules

Dayton’s budget includes a legal services tax

Like Governor Pawlenty, Governor Dayton now wants to create a legal services tax.  The effect of such a bill would mean that the next time you or your client wants to seek a lawyer’s aid, in addition to paying the attorney’s fees, the client will need to pay a burdensome tax on legal services.

To reduce the budget deficit, this is what Governor Dayton proposed:

  • Reducing corporate income tax from 9.8% to 8.4%.  A huge drop of 1.4%.
  • Governor Dayton stated that he wants to tax clothing that costs more than $100.
  • Governor Dayton wants to tax the following services: legal, accounting, architecture, specialized design, computer, management consulting, advertising, employment and business support services.

Taxing legal services is a bad idea, which would significantly impact a population that cannot afford to get hit.  And why is that?  The legal services tax will be paid by the client.

So say, you are trying to fight foreclosure.  The owner of the home will have to pay that tax.  Or say, you are trying to fight a custody battle.  The parent will have to pay that tax.

Imposing such a severe burden on the middle-class, as well as the lower-class, will inevitably have a chilling effect.  In other words, the vast majority of Americans will no longer have a viable resource when exercising their constitutional rights.

The Minnesota State Bar Association shares this same viewpoint.  In addition, the MSBA has also stated that the tax would be next to impossible to administer.

via Dayton unveils a legal services tax to fill budget deficit – MinnLawyer Blog.

Leave a comment

Filed under civil rights, fees, Minnesota, Pending Legislation

NY Is First State to Require Law Students to Do Pro Bono Work to Get Licensed After Graduation

This is an article from the ABA News website:

In a move that is expected to improve access to the civil justice system for low-income individuals, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced at a press conference Wednesday a new Court of Appeals rule requiring all law graduates to complete 50 hours of pro bono work before they will be admitted to practice in New York.

It is expected that many will complete the pro bono requirement while they are still law students, according to Reuters. However, the pro bono requirement can also be met after an individual earns his or her law degree.

The pro bono requirement doesn’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2015, so it does not apply to current third-year law students.

What qualifies as pro bono work is broadly defined, the article notes, alleviating concerns by law school deans that the program would be difficult to administer.

A 15-member advisory committee that helped draft the new pro bono rule will also oversee its implementation and evaluate how well it works, the news agency notes.

The New York Law Journal (reg. req.) provides a link to a copy of the new pro bono rule (PDF).

via NY Is First State to Require Law Students to Do Pro Bono Work to Get Licensed After Graduation – News – ABA Journal.

Leave a comment

Filed under attorneys, Law Schools, law students, rules

Legal Jobs Report: June

The number of jobs in the legal services sector remained essentially flat in June, at around 1.1 million, according to the Labor Department. (The jobs data show legal services added 200 jobs.)

That has been the story since the beginning of the year. The good news is that legal services has added about 8,500 jobs since June 2011.

Conditions at law firms have stabilized since 2009, when the legal industry shed 41,900 positions, according to the Labor Department. Cuts were more moderate last year, with some 2,700 positions eliminated.

Professional and technical services as a group — which includes legal, accounting and bookkeeping, architecture and engineering, computer systems design, and management and technical consulting — accounted for 18,200 new jobs in June, according to the Labor Department. Management and technical consulting services led the way, adding 8,900 jobs.

Overall, nonfarm payrolls grew by 80,000 last month and unemployment was unchanged at 8.2%

via Legal Jobs Report: June – Law Blog – WSJ.

Leave a comment

Filed under attorneys

NLRB Issues Notice Posting Final Rule

The NLRB, until now, was the only major federal employment agency that did not require that employers post of notice of employee rights under the statute. This has all changed. The Board issued a final rule to be codified at 29 CFR Part 104 which mandates that employers post this notice, here. The rule published in the Federal Registar is a 194 pages long and mostly documents the Board’s rule making authority.

In a nutshell, the rule provides:

All employers subject to the NLRA must post notices to employees, in conspicuous places, informing them of their NLRA rights, together with Board contact information and information concerning basic enforcement procedures, in the language set forth in the Appendix to Subpart A of this part. (b) Size and form requirements. The notice to employees shall be at least 11 inches by 17 inches in size, and in such format, type size, and style as the Board shall prescribe. If an employer chooses to print the notice after downloading it from the Board’s Web site, the printed notice shall be at least 11 inches by 17 inches in size.

via Adjunct Law Prof Blog: NLRB Issues Notice Posting Final Rule.

Leave a comment

Filed under employment, labor