Legal Issues

  1. The US Supreme Court.
    U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Affirmative Action in College Admissions: How the Decision Impacts Institutions of Higher Education

    On June 29, 2023, in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. University of North Carolina, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the affirmative action policies at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina. The court’s decision striking down race-based college and university admissions policies and programs will have sweeping and immediate consequences for higher education throughout the country.

  2. Silhouettes of a man and a woman on unequal ground.

    Signed into law in 1963, the Equal Pay Act prohibits pay discrimination based on sex. However, 60 years since the passage of the law, women continue to experience a pay gap, relative to men.

  3. A urine sample in a cup.
    Preemployment Drug Testing and the Legalization of Medical and Recreational Marijuana

    Historically, employers conducted preemployment drug testing to promote a drug-free work environment and safe working conditions for all employees. Applicants who tested positive for prohibited substances, including marijuana, were generally excluded from further consideration for employment. However, as more states legalize the use of medicinal or recreational marijuana, employers are facing difficult decisions regarding their preemployment drug testing policies.

  4. hands typing on a keyboard with overlayed lock icons
    Maintaining and Handling Protected Data

    This article discusses maintaining and handling protected data, including how to an internal or third-party breach.

  5. clipart chess pawns with one standing out in blue under a microscope
    Marijuana in the Recruiting and Hiring Process

    Given the complexity and variety of laws, it is not surprising that employers, applicants, and career services professionals alike are confused about what is and isn’t legal in the case of marijuana—medical and recreational. This article addresses marijuana use as it pertains to some of the most pressing questions surrounding recruiting and hiring.

  6. An illustration of a robot scanning a parade of files.
    Preemployment Testing: The Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Hiring Process

    There are potential benefits to using artificial intelligence (AI) in the recruitment and screening of job applicants and in the hiring process, but there are also legal ramifications that must be understood prior to implementing any AI hiring system.

  7. An illustration of a line of people.
    Avoiding the Potential Pitfalls of the Hiring Process

    Attorneys George Hlavac and Edward Easterly discuss potential pitfalls in the application and interview for applicants and employers.

  8. A group of magnifying glasses.
    Unpaid Internships for International Students: Risky Business

    Unpaid internships can put international students at risk of violating their immigration status.

  9. An intern is being harassed.
    Interns and Harassment

    Interns should be are aware of the law and understand what remedies are available should they believe they are being subjected to harassment in the workplace during their internship.

  10. A lawyer and client discussing harassment in the workplace. Featured is a gavel and block, and uneven scales.
    Harassment in the Workplace: What Employers, Employees, and Interns Need to Know

    What constitutes harassment? How are employers required to respond? What should employees do if they believe they are being harassed? Are unpaid interns protected?

  11. Employees signing noncompete agreements.
    Restrictive Covenants: Noncompete, Nonsolicitation, Nondisclosure Agreements

    Employers may require new hires and interns to sign restrictive covenants, such as noncompete, nonsolicitation, and/or nondisclosure agreements. Attorneys George Hlavac and Ed Easterly discuss the issues.

  12. A healthcare professional reviewing medical tests.
    Legal Issues: Preemployment Testing

    Legal issues and questions around preemployment testing range from when a test is appropriate to how to conduct a test to how an employer can and should use the results.

  13. "Covid-19" stamped on a piece of paper next to a gavel and block.
    Coronavirus-related Legal Questions

    Attorney Edward Easterly addresses some of the key legal questions that have arisen in regard to the coronavirus pandemic for career services, employers, and new college graduates and interns.

  14. Two business professionals discuss how to handle a date breach by one of their third-party vendors.
    Handling a Data Breach by a Third-Party Vendor

    When a data breach comes from a third-party vendor, both the vendor and the party that provided the initial information may be subject to potential liability.

  15. A young business professional uses social media.
    Social Media and Noncompete, Nonsolicitation Agreements

    The significantly increased use of social media has changed the way employers and courts have handled noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements.

  16. Graduation cap placed on world globe
    International Student Employment: Answering Questions About the Need for “Employment Visa Sponsorship”

    Immigration attorney Mark B. Rhoads answers several critical questions about international students navigating the visa sponsorship process.

  17. Covid 19 vaccine bottle
    The Next COVID-19 Issue: Mandating the Vaccine

    Can an employer mandate that its employees (or interns) obtain the vaccination? The answer, not surprisingly, is not a simple “yes” or “no.” The ADA as well as other laws and regulations play a role in determining what, legally, an employer can mandate.

  18. Picture of vaccine
    The COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate: Five Questions

    Can employers mandate employees and interns to be vaccinated against COVID-19? Can job candidates be asked if they are vaccinated? This article address five common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine as it relates to hiring and employment.

  19. Person writing with pen and paper
    How to Write a Reference Letter

    This article provides guidelines for those writing reference letters, including questions to consider and legal and liability issues.

  20. Woman with a gavel reviewing papers
    Diversity Recruiting: How Does Fisher Impact Affirmative Action in Employment?

    In June 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the affirmative action admissions plan at the University of Texas. Attorney Ed Easterly looks at what Fisher v. University of Texas means for affirmative action.

  21. Front of court house building
    U.S. Supreme Court Upholds University of Texas Admissions Plan

    In a 4-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the affirmative action admissions plan at University of Texas. The case, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, revolved around race in the admissions process. The University of Texas system provides for race to be considered as one factor in admissions.

  22. Statue holding a scale and sword
    Legal Issues: Marijuana in the Workplace

    The legalization of recreational and/or medical marijuana in many states raises a series of issues for employers and employees alike. How are drug testing policies affected? Must employers accommodate use of marijuana for medical purposes? What does legalization mean for federal contractors?

  23. newspaper with magnifying glass
    Vetting Job Postings

    Career center staff should vet job postings as thoroughly as possible before posting them to avoid posts that are fraudulent or discriminatory.

  24. Man and woman reviewing a document
    Legal Issues: References

    The key for reference providers is to know what information should and can be disclosed, and what legal ramifications arise as a result of improper disclosures.

  25. Woman typing on a laptop
    FERPA Primer: The Basics and Beyond

    FERPA was enacted to protect the privacy of students and their parents. It is designed to ensure that students and their parents can access the student’s education records and challenge the content or release of such records to third parties. This article summarizes the key points of FERPA, notes the 2008 and 2011 changes to the act, and highlights how career services practitioners can ensure their institutions and offices are in compliance.

  26. Close up of a new graduate
    Legal Q&A: Can a student or new graduate volunteer to work unpaid for an employer to gain experience?

    Although some recommend a student or new graduate volunteer to work unpaid to gain experience, it is illegal for-profit organizations to have “volunteers” perform work.

  27. Employer training intern
    Legal Issues: Internships

    There are a variety of legal issues related to internships, including whether interns must be paid, the enforceability of noncompete or nondisclosure employment agreements, and if interns are entitled to workers’ and unemployment compensation.

  28. Clip art of business woman with a cape
    Can a Career Center Prescreen Candidates for an Employer? Can Faculty Prescreen for an Employer?

    Many career services professionals are asked to prescreen candidates for employers—to identify their “best” students. So, too, are faculty members. Beyond a host of ethical issues involved in such a request, there are legal implications.

  29. Multi colored pegs set up on a desk
    Legal Issues: Diversity Recruiting

    Given the ever-changing nature of employment laws, it is important to understand what is permissible in diversity hiring and recruiting.

  30. Men interviewing at table
    Legal Q & A: Are employers required to interview international students?

    Employers are not required to interview an international student who has an F-1 or J-1 visa, even if the student is otherwise qualified for the job. Although employers can refuse to interview or hire international students who do not already have some form of permanent work authorization, most cannot stipulate that U.S. citizenship is a job requirement.

  31. Two men shaking hands
    Relationships Between Workers and Hiring Organizations

    In today’s marketplace, college students may be offered a wide variety of employment opportunities. The following information should help career services professionals advise their students on the nature of these opportunities.

  32. Legal items with blurred person in background
    Legal Issues: Background Checks

    Employers use background checks to determine if an individual is suitable for a position within the organization. Recently, however, employers have been running into significant roadblocks in the use and application of background checks, and some are now being challenged in the courts for conducting background checks on potential applicants.

  33. Man typing on laptop
    Legal Issues: Understanding Copyright Laws And the Impact of the Digital Age

    What materials on the Internet are copyrighted and can you repost them? This article discusses copyright online and issues surrounding it.

  34. international students smiling
    Legal Issues: Interviewing and Hiring International Students

    Employers need to know how to determine if an international student will require visa sponsorship—and career services professionals also should be aware of this process so that they can effectively advise these students.