Author Archives: Susan North

NLRB Rules on Google’s Firing of Outspoken Engineer

A recently released NLRB memo has concluded that Google did not break any labor laws when they fired James Damore.  Damore, a senior software engineer, was fired in August after writing and circulating an internal memo that disclosed Google’s diversity initiatives.  His memo, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” alleged that women are underrepresented in technology because of innate, biological differences such as being prone to anxiety, having lower stress tolerances and looking for more work-life balance.

A New ADA on the Horizon? The House Says Yes.

On February 15, the House in a 225 to 192 vote passed legislation to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The ADA Education and Reform Act (H.R.620) would require plaintiffs hoping to sue businesses in federal court to first deliver written notice to that business, specifically detailing the illegal barrier to access.  The business would then have 60 days to develop a plan to address the complaint and outline improvements to remove the barrier.  Finally, the business will have an additional 60 days to remove the barrier, or in the very least make substantial progress in doing so.  

Who? Me? Individuals Not Just Companies Can Be Held Liable For Retaliation

In an issue of first impression, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held in Smith v. Bray, 681 F.3d 888 (7th Cir. May 24, 2012) that individuals with a retaliatory motive can be held liable for causing the employer to retaliate against another employee. Just after the Civil War, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1866 which protects the right of all persons “to make and enforce contracts” regardless of race. A cause of action for retaliation under this statute exists if one person takes action against another for asserting the right to this contractual …

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