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Law and Daily Life

Is Photographing Abandoned Buildings Legal?

By Richard Dahl

The COVID-19 pandemic has prodded Americans to discover new outdoor activities that don't involve crowds. Many of these activities focus on exercise, like hiking and biking. But Americans have also rediscovered the joys of the good, old-fashioned afternoon drive. And as they motor along, they've rediscovered other good, old-fashioned things — like abandoned buildings.

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Can You Sue a Business You Never Went Into for Catching COVID-19?

By Andrew Leonatti

The omicron variant of COVID-19 is rampaging across the country. At the same time, it is apparent that Americans have no appetite for more harsh restrictions and mitigations. In short, that means you have a pretty high chance of catching this if you are frequently out around crowds of people. a recent ruling by a California court in a wrongful death case has businesses in the state and across the country nervous about a potential "never-ending" spiral of liability lawsuits. But some states are taking action to cut back on these lawsuits.

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Should Vaccine-Resistant Workers Who Leave Their Jobs Receive Unemployment?

By Richard Dahl

If an employee is fired for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, in most cases they do not qualify for state unemployment compensation. Employers have broad latitude in setting work requirements for employees, and mandating vaccination is one of them. That's because employers who want to take steps to keep their workplaces safe for everyone may see unvaccinated workers as a risk. In most states, the law may consider refusal to get a vaccination when required by an employer as misconduct.

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Book Banning Efforts Are on the Rise. What Does the Law Say?

By Richard Dahl

Efforts to ban books in school libraries are nothing new. But recently, the drive to remove certain books from school library shelves is gaining unusual momentum in several parts of the country. What began as a debate last year over the teaching of "critical race theory" expanded to include a broader examination of school curricula and the library books available to students.

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What Immigration-Related Questions Can You Ask a Job Candidate?

By Camila Laval, J.D.

It's easy to assume there's a clear divide between who can legally work in the U.S. and who can't. But there is a significant gray area comprised of candidates who could work in the U.S. if they had employment sponsorship, candidates with temporary but otherwise unrestricted employment authorization, and candidates who may only work for a specific type of employer.

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America's Shadow Foster Care System: A Call to Reform

By Steven Ellison, Esq.

A recent article in The New York Times Magazine tells a harrowing story, which raises a hypothetical. Suppose a state child protection agency gets a call that a child may be abused or neglected. The caseworker investigates and determines that this may be true and that leaving the child with the parents may be harmful. The caseworker then presents the parents with a Hobson's choice: Give your child to another caregiver, typically a family member (kinship placement), indefinitely, or else they will seek a family court order placing your child in foster care with strangers.

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