Screening News Update: Walmart v. MM Cardholder | Federal Ban the Box | ICE Audits Skyrocket [Video]
- Marijuana Card Holder Wins a Small Victory over Massive Retailer
- Congressmen Introduce Federal Ban the Box
- ICE Enforcement Skyrocketed in 2018
Marijuana Card Holder Wins a Small Victory over Massive Retailer
An Arizona judge refused to grant summary judgement for Walmart after the company allegedly disregarded the state’s medical marijuana law by firing a legal card holder after an on-the-job accident. Carol Whitmire started working at Walmart in 2008, six years before obtaining a medical marijuana card for arthritis pain. In 2016, Ms. Whitmire hurt her wrist while levelling bags in an ice machine. Documents about the accident said there was no way to conclude that the employee did anything wrong and that the same thing could have easily happened to a customer. Unfortunately, Whitmire never told her employer that she was legally using marijuana. After a mandatory drug test, her worker’s comp claim was denied, and she was eventually fired. That’s when she sued. According to the judge, the company blatantly disregarded a “complete and bright line” in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act by firing her solely based on that positive drug test. The judge also said it is clear the defendant was discriminated against, so the case continues.
Congressmen Introduce Federal Ban the Box
A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a federal Ban the Box law aimed at helping former felons have more success in the job market. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), Doug Collins (R-Georgia), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) joined together to propose the “Fair Chance Act” which would prohibit federal agencies and their contractors from requesting a job applicant’s criminal history before making a conditional offer. There would be some exceptions for positions related to law enforcement, those requiring access to classified information, as well as those legally requiring criminal history information before an offer is made. Thirty-three states and more than 150 cities and counties already have their own versions of Ban the Box laws on the books. This new legislation would only apply to those working with the federal government.
ICE Enforcement Skyrocketed in 2018
It should come as no surprise that the number of ICE raids on businesses hit record levels last year. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) recently released their 2018 statistics showing it opened more than 6,800 worksite investigations during the last fiscal year. They conducted less than 1,700 the year before. On top of that huge increase, Form I-9 audits rose 439%, and more than $10 million in fines was collected. The important detail here is that employers should expect this trend to continue throughout 2019.