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AI Exposes Employees to Increased Security and Privacy Risks

For all of its ostensible benefits and efficiencies, widespread implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) poses significant danger to workers in the U.S. and elsewhere. As employers increase the amount of employee data they collect, so does the risk that the information will be abused, placing employee security and privacy in peril.

The Very Real Threat of AI in the Workplace

Science fiction movies and sensational headlines warn us that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to make our jobs obsolete, widen the chasm between the very rich and the barely-surviving poor, and even develop superior consciousness. Far-fetched fantasies aside, many of AI's applications pose some very real threats to the modern workplace.

What About the Employees Who Pick Up the Slack When Coworkers Take Parental Leave?

The United States is one of the few countries in the world that does not require employers to provide any paid time off for new parents. Employees who are covered by the federal Family & Medical Leave Act and meet its requirements may be entitled to up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave, however, and many states have additional leave laws that apply for recent parents.

Whether paid or unpaid, however, an employee's parental leave can cause logistical and economic complications for employers and the other members of the workforce. Creating further tension is the reality faced by workers who remain in the workforce and "pick up the slack" for the employees who are out on leave. However, recent research shows that employers can resolve these tensions with basic, practical solutions.

Wall Street Keeps #MeToo Under Wraps

As the #MeToo movement sweeps through popular culture, unseating powerhouses in industries from entertainment to politics to academia, the financial industry has been remarkably quiet. On Wall Street, complaints of sexism, gender discrimination, and sexual harassment have simmered for years, but there have been no significant personalities removed from their positions or otherwise dethroned from power.

How has this powerful social movement remained barely noticeable in the white-collar world of high-stakes finance?

Bullying in the Legal Profession

From the schoolyard to the workplace, bullying is an epidemic. Because mistreatment and abuse of employees can result in legal action and liability, one would think lawyers and law firms would be vigilant in stopping or preventing bullying in their offices. Surveys of workers in the legal profession show otherwise.

Mancini v. City of Providence, RI, No. 18-1011 (1st Cir. Nov. 21, 2018)

The First Circuit affirms that, in an ADA case, it is often not necessary to present expert medical testimony to prove a disability. Nevertheless, the panel affirms summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff - a police sergeant with a knee injury - failed to prove that his impairment substantially limited him in the major life activities of standing, walking, and bending.

Netter v. Guilford Cnty. Sheriff's Office, No. 18-1039 (4th Cir. Nov. 15, 2018)

The Fourth Circuit cautions employees (and their counsel) that taking actions to support an EEOC charge are not "protected activities" under the "participation" clause of Title VII's anti-retaliation section if they violate state law. Here, the court affirms summary judgment in a case where the employee copied and delivered confidential personnel files to the EEOC, in violation of North Carolina law.

EEOC v. North Memorial Health Care, No. 17-2926 (8th Cir. Nov. 13, 2018)

In a contentious 2-1 opinion, the Eighth Circuit holds that a job applicant who requests a religious accommodation - here, not to work Saturdays - is not engaged in a "protected activity" under the opposition clause of Title VII's retaliation provision. 

Gunter v. Bemis Co., Inc., No. 17-6144 (6th Cir. Oct. 16, 2018)

Through careful advocacy, a former factory worker with lifting restrictions preserves most of his jury verdict in an ADA discrimination case - $181,522.61 in back pay and $92,000 in compensatory damages - and is remanded to the district court for an award of front pay.

Donley v. Stryker Corp., No. 17-1195 (7th Cir. Oct. 15, 2018)

In a short-but-sweet opinion, the Seventh Circuit reverses summary judgment in a Title VII retaliation case, where the district court failed to perceive a genuine dispute of material fact: specifically, when company management first became aware of the plaintiff's alleged violation of work rules. By the plaintiff's account, management knowingly overlooked her alleged breach .... until she complained about sex harassment.

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