Legislative Alert: Spokeo Confusion | Banks & Marijuana | VA Ban the Box [Video]
- SCOTUS Turns Down Spokeo Request
- States Asking Congress for Help with Legalized Marijuana Issue
- Virginia Ban the Box Law Passes Senate Hurdle
SCOTUS Turns Down Spokeo Request
The Supreme Court has denied a petition to review its ruling in the case of Spokeo v. Robins. Back in May of 2016, the Court decided that a “technical” violation of a federal statue – in this case the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) – does not constitute a “concrete injury” as Article III of the Constitution requires. Over the last two years several lower courts have adopted conflicting interpretations of the ruling. Some followed the SCOTUS decision and threw out cases against employers if the plaintiff could not establish they suffered concrete harm. Other courts have only required plaintiffs to allege that the violation caused imminent risk of harm. Citing this confusion, Spokeo filed a writ of certiorari in December – the second they have filed in the course of this case.
States Asking Congress for Help with Legalized Marijuana Issue
The country’s marijuana business is growing every day, but there is still a huge hurdle the states have not been able to fix. Since the drug is still illegal under federal law, banking institutions are afraid to do business with growers and distributors because it technically would make them complicit in a federal crime. Now, a bipartisan group of 18 attorneys general from states that have legalized medical and/or recreational marijuana have written a letter to Congress asking for help. The letter says the banking situation not only makes these businesses targets for crime because they are dealing with large amounts of cash, but they also say it makes it hard for the states to keep track of the money changing hands. That makes collecting accurate taxes almost impossible. They are asking Congress to pass some kind of safe harbor legislation for banks so they will be willing to work with the marijuana industry.
Virginia Ban the Box Law Passes Senate Hurdle
The Virginia Senate voted 23 to 16 to ban the box on state employment applications. The bill applies to state agencies and localities. If it becomes law it will prohibit those employers from asking job applicants whether they have ever been arrested, charged with, or convicted of a crime. The question can be asked after a conditional offer of employment has been made, and that offer can be rescinded if there is a conviction that directly relates to the job’s duties. Now the bill moves to the Virginia House of Delegates for consideration.