Law News Digest – Week of April 12, 2015

4/17

Oklahoma enacts law to potentially allow for execution by nitrogen gas. The new law says the method will become available for use if the Supreme Court rules that the state’s execution by injection is unconstitutional. The Court is expected to decide on the issue this spring.

Antidepressant Zoloft: jury finds no link between the drug and birth defects.

4/16

Ever thought to yourself “I wish I could sue my neighbors over their barking dogs!”? Well maybe you can. An Oregon jury has awarded a couple $240,000 for enduring their neighbors’ barking dogs for over 10 years. The judge also ordered that the dogs either undergo an operation to stop barking or that the owners find a new home for the dogs within 60 days.

4/15

“Free-range” parents in Maryland who let their kids walk home from park unsupervised were investigated by local government agents for possible child neglect. The parents are “outraged” and are now planning to sue the government officials. What do you think about free-range parenting?

4/14

Teachers in Atlanta involved in cheating on student standardized tests to earn raises and bonuses have been convicted. Some will spend up to 7 years in jail.

Remember Blackwater, the security firm hired by the American government to protect troops in Iraq? And its involvement in the 2007 massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqis (17 more were injured)? Well one of the Blackwater guys just got life in prison and 3 others got 30 years for their crimes.

Gap, Target, Sears and other major retailers are being investigated in NY for their on-call worker policies [video]. Workers find out if they will work sometimes just hours before their shift, making it hard to plan childcare or school schedules. NY law requires companies to pay 4 hours minimum wage to workers who report to their shift; the on-call system may be an illegal attempt around that law.

4/13

AT&T and other internet service providers are fighting net neutrality (because heaven forbid one of their many sources of profit is taken away!). They are suing to challenge the Federal Communications Commission’s recent net neutrality order.

Health clinic in FL fired an employee after she transitioned to a woman. The federal government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the clinic, the first time it has done so for employment discrimination against a transgender individual. Now, the clinic has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle the lawsuit.

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