I’ve blogged (here) that grilling a medical marijuana user about her disability, just before firing the employee, could give rise to a viable disability-discrimination claim. In other words, where the disability (as opposed to the medical marijuana use) motivates the employment action, that’s discrimination.I’ve blogged before (here) that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not protect illegal drug use by employees. So, if the illegal drug use, and not the disability, motivates a company to fire an employee, that’s perfectly legal.Last week, a New Mexico federal court concluded here that the same logic applies to disability discrimination claims brought under New Mexico state law. That is, suppose an employee with a disability who uses medical marijuana (which is legal in New Mexico) is fired for testing positive for marijuana. Testing positive for marijuana is not because of the employee’s disability, nor could testing positive result from the disability. And, using marijuana is not a manifestation of a disability. Instead, an employer is applying its drug testing rules to all employee regardless of the reason for marijuana use. Thus, in most instances, firing an employee because she tests positive for medical marijuana is ok.But, let’s suppose that you operate a business in a state, such as Connecticut and Delaware, which has a medical marijuana law requiring that employers accommodate medical marijuana cardholders. Well, here’s a monkey wrench from the New Mexico decision: The court underscored that certain state medical marijuana laws may provide limited immunity that won’t conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act. However, to require an employer to accommodate an employee’s illegal drug use would mandate that the employer permit the very conduct the Controlled Substance Act forbids. And that’s a no go.Therefore, it may be employers nationwide do not need to accommodate medical marijuana use under federal or state law.Originally posted on The Employer Handbook.
Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities The Ipswich City Council, located in one of Australia’s fastest growing regions, recently announced plans to move forward with a “smart city” agenda.Global consulting firm Accenture has been selected to manage this transformation and help implement plans. Blueprints will be developed to improve community engagement, examine city operations and grow digital technology.See Also: Smart cities require smart constructionCouncilor Paul Pisasale, mayor of Ipswich, stated that the initiative is an effort to create more jobs, establish a flourishing economy, utilize data to anticipate and help prevent problems and digitize city services to improve the overall functioning of the city as a whole.“We are a city which leads by example, embracing the positive impact of technology and digital trends for the benefit of our local businesses and community,” Pisasale said. “We really believe digital cities are better enabled by digital governments who are not afraid to adopt a more human-centered approach in order to better serve their citizens.”Ipswich leading the way in AustraliaAccenture was chosen for this project based on their vast global ‘Smart City’ experience, expert knowledge in the industry and analytical skills. Having worked with clients in over 120 countries, Accenture offers a vast array of services and solutions. The company focus for this current project will be to identify and develop new strategies to both maintain and improve the city, making it a safer, more connected and productive city to live in.Accenture’s Health & Public Service Leader for Australia and New Zealand, Catherine Garner, explained, “Rather than proposing a product driven, technology-centric solution, we have embedded our consulting and strategic approach around the vision and needs of the Ipswich community. Innovation is at the heart of a strong economy. When done well, it keeps a city competitive, cutting edge, creates jobs and maintains a high standard of living.”Australia is currently pushing to upgrade cities across the continent to employ the latest smart technologies.Ipswich is one of Australia’s most rapidly growing regions and it has developed a reputation for being a progressive and motivated city. This new ‘Smart City’ project may set the standard for other cities to follow suit. For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In... Amanda Razani Related Posts How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi... How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic ... Tags:#Accenture#Australia#Internet of Things#IoT#Ipswich#smart city
Every day, young sunflowers follow the sun like spectators at an incredibly slow tennis match. But scientists have never known why, or why the tracking stops when they become adults. Now, a new study suggests that this daily sun worship is guided by circadian rhythms during development. In a series of experiments, scientists tied down young plants to prevent them from moving or rotated them so they were facing the wrong way when the sun rose. When the plants’ normal movements were thwarted, they grew far more slowly than regular sunflowers, with about a 10% decrease in both biomass and leaf area. Researchers say the rhythmic tracking helps the plants grow bigger, allowing them to add cells on whichever side is doing the “stretching”: the east side during the day and the west side at night. When the sunflowers finally settle down and stop this daily tracking, their position also gives them an advantage, researchers report this week in Science. A second set of experiments showed that mature plants’ permanent eastward orientation makes for warmer flower faces, which may be responsible for a large increase in pollinator visits—five times more than in mature plants that face west. Looks like following the sun is more than just a spectator sport!
Top stories: Two new letters for the genetic code, stat checking psychology, and the formerly abominable snowman By Roni DenglerDec. 1, 2017 , 3:25 PM Scientists just added two functional letters to the genetic codeAll life forms on Earth use the same genetic alphabet of the bases A, T, C, and G—nitrogen-containing compounds that constitute the building blocks of DNA and spell out the instructions for making proteins. Now, scientists have developed the first bacterium to use extra letters, or unnatural bases, to build proteins. The traditional four DNA bases code for 20 amino acids, but the addition of new letters X and Y could produce up to 152 amino acids, which might become building blocks for new drugs and novel materials, the scientists say.China’s dark matter space probe detects tantalizing signalSign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D'IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People's Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People's Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)A long-standing challenge in physics has been finding evidence for dark matter, the stuff presumed to make up a substantial chunk of the mass of the universe. Its existence seems to be responsible for the structure of the universe and the formation and evolution of galaxies. But physicists have yet to observe this mysterious material. Results reported Wednesday by a China-led space science mission provide a tantalizing hint—but not firm evidence—for dark matter.Controversial software is proving surprisingly accurate at spotting errors in psychology papersWhen Dutch researchers developed an open-source algorithm named statcheck to flag statistical errors in psychology papers, it received mixed reactions from the research community—especially after the free tool found that tens of thousands of published papers contained statistical inconsistencies. Some scientists have called these studies a “form of harassment,” and others have questioned the accuracy of the tool itself. Now, a new study by statcheck’s developers—posted to a preprint server this week—suggests their algorithm gets it right in more than 95% of cases. Expect that result to be checked.Ancient flying reptiles cared for their young, fossil trove suggestsA spectacular fossil find is providing tantalizing new clues about the habits of pterosaurs, ancient flying reptiles that lived at the same times as dinosaurs. The cache of more than 200 fossil eggs found with bones of juvenile and adult animals in northwestern China suggests to some researchers that pterosaur parents may have cared for their newly hatched young. In a paper published Thursday in Science, researchers report that a 3-meter-square chunk of rock they excavated contains 16 eggs with the fossilized bones of developing embryos.So much for the abominable snowman. Study finds ‘yeti’ DNA belongs to bearsHikers in Tibet and the Himalayas need not fear the monstrous yeti—but they’d darn well better carry bear spray. Previous genetic analyses of a couple of “yeti” hair samples collected in India and Bhutan suggested that a stretch of their mitochondrial DNA resembled that of polar bears. That finding hinted that a previously unknown type of bear, possibly a hybrid between polar bears and brown bears, could be roaming the Himalayas. Now, DNA analyses of nine samples purported to be from the “abominable snowman” reveal that eight actually came from various species of bears native to the area. (Left to right): The Yeti, illustration from "Monsters and Mythic Beasts" 1975 (color litho), D'Achille, Gino (1935–2017)/Private Collection/Bridgeman Images; James Cavallini/Science Source; Chuang Zhou