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February 2015 L&E Update from Baker Donelson

Submitted by Firm:
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Firm Contacts:
Jennifer L. Anderson, Kathlyn Perez, Phyllis G. Cancienne, Robert C. Divine
Article Type:
Legal Update
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February may be the month of shadow-dodging groundhogs, saluting sweethearts and honoring presidents, but it's no party on the labor and employment scene. Security risks, drugs vs. disabilities, even when a volunteer is not a volunteer are all issues that we aim to alert you to this month. Will it be six more weeks of winter for employers, or is spring in the air?

Medical Marijuana Use and the ADA – A New Intersect, by Jodi Taylor

In states where medical marijuana has been legalized, employers are increasingly faced with situations where a legitimately disabled employee who uses marijuana to treat his or her symptoms runs afoul of the company's drug policy and is terminated as a result. Employers need to be clear when the basis for termination is for drug use in violation of the company's policy, and make sure the policy is consistently enforced.  More...

Employers Beware: Could the Generosity of Volunteers Result in a Perceived Employer-Employee Relationship?, by Joann Coston-Holloway

The difference between an unpaid volunteer and a paid employee would seem to be clear, but the recent case of Sister Michael Marie, et al. v. American Red Cross, et al. proved that may not always be the case. Employers would do well to set parameters and pay close attention to what volunteers are "volunteering" to do on behalf of or in conjunction with their companies.  More...

2014 EEOC Enforcement and Litigation Statistics: Retaliation Claims on the Rise, by  Megan Sutton

Retaliation again tops the list of workplace discrimination charges, reaching a record high in 2014.  More...

Immigration Corner, by Melanie Walker

This month: Helpful guidance in a tricky I-9 situation, and a "Known Employer" program in development.  More...

NIST Releases Mobile App Security Guidelines, by Amy T. Andrews and Gina Ginn Greenwood

Through the use of mobile devices and apps, companies may be unintentionally exposing themselves to significant security and privacy risks relating to their confidential, proprietary, personal or other data. The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently released a guide to help companies assess their risk.  More...