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Maine Makes It Illegal to Prohibit Hiring Based on Marijuana Use

Polipace Staff

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Even though marijuana is legal in many states, that doesn’t necessarily mean people are allowed to use it. Many workplaces still refuse to allow their employees to use the drug and test to make sure they don’t. But in Maine, that could be a thing of the past.

The state of Maine has become the first state to prevent employers from discriminating their workers based on marijuana use. Starting today, employers cannot punish their workers nor refuse to hire someone based on marijuana use done outside of the workplace.

Use of the drug or coming to work under the influence of marijuana can still be punished, but Maine’s Labor Department says a positive rest result for cannabis is not sufficient to prove someone showed up to work while high.

The state’s Labor Department also removed marijuana from the list of drugs employers can test job applicants for.

It’s somewhat ironic that Maine would become the first state to enact these types of protections, considering they’re not technically a state where marijuana is legal. While voters approved a ballot initiative in November 2016 to legalize cannabis recreationally, the state’s government has been unable to pass a bill that would implement the law. But these laws will still protect people who use the drug medicinally.

The issue of marijuana use and the workplace is one that hasn’t been fully worked out in legalized states. While it seems many employers are relaxing rules on the drug, there are still very few protections for workers who use it. And this is particularly harmful for people who use the drug to treat serious medical issues.

Perhaps Maine’s new policy will become a starting point for state’s everywhere.

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Crime

Conservative Trump Supporter Arrested for Illegally Circumcising Teens In Missouri

Polipace Staff

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A Missouri man who started his own religious ministry has been charged with illegally circumcising two teenagers.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that 47-year-old Curtis Abbott, of Nixa, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of child endangerment and one count of unauthorized practice of medicine or surgery. Abbott sent a statement to the News-Leader calling the allegations “false.”

His Facebook page is full of everything from Right Wing conspiracies to strange theories on Judaism. It seems he may have been learning from a Rabbi also.

A hearing is scheduled for next week.

Many details of the case, including a motive, haven’t been made public because the case was handled by a grand jury.

Nixa founded an organization called “Restore Bible Culture.” Court filings in his divorce finalized this summer say he said he has had “multiple prophetic communications.”

Strangely a mutual friend of his told PoliPace over DM, “He was quite religious when I knew him, but had no idea it was to the level of zealot…”

Abbott admitted his ministry had “several false starts in years past.”

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Crime

Roger Stone Begs for Money and Claims Mueller Going to Arrest Him

Polipace Staff

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If there’s one thing Trump and his cabal of crooks are good at, it’s grifting from people who have little or nothing. The Trump/Pence website is always posting fundraisers to get every last penny and they do it by amping up the fear quotient, “Our way of life is under attack,” and so forth.

The most recent plea from these quarters is coming from Roger Stone, who, comically, is all but announcing he’s about to be indicted. Or, maybe he just wants to get the money and run away to Belize, or some other country without an extradition treaty, who knows?

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Crime

State and Federal Regulators Initiate Nationwide Fraudulent Charity Sweep

Richard Newman

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Last week, New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced that, in conjunction with the federal and state enforcement initiative “Operation Donate with Honor,” a settlement had been reached with Operation Troop Aid Inc., a Tennessee-based military charity. According to the NY OAG, OTA engaged in a deceptive marketing campaign and failed to properly oversee donations made from a commercial co-venture with a nationwide retailer.

“Charities have a fundamental responsibility when it comes to partnerships that use their charitable name and status,” said Attorney General Underwood. “Too often, co-ventures are little more than thinly-veiled marketing operations. Charities must not sell out their status for questionable gains.”

According to the OAG, OTA’s stated mission is to send care packages to deployed servicemembers – participated in an unlawful commercial co-venture with nationwide retailer, Harris Originals of NY, Inc. and its related stores. OTA allegedly allowed Harris Jewelry to use the charity’s name in Harris Jewelry’s so-called “Operation Teddy Bear,” in which Harris Jewelry advertised that it would donate a specific amount of money to OTA when consumers purchased its teddy bears dressed in military uniforms, based on a bear’s size.

The investigation found that OTA failed to ensure that Harris Jewelry was donating the full amount it advertised to the public. The investigation further found that Harris Jewelry sent OTA checks without documentation outlining how the donated amount was calculated, and at times provided different information to consumers as to the amount of money donated. Harris Jewelry allegedly used OTA’s logo and its relationship with the charity prominently in advertising and promotional materials, and OTA displayed Harris Jewelry’s logo on care packages sent overseas to deployed servicemembers.

OTA has acknowledged that it did not have a written agreement with Harris Jewelry, that it failed to oversee the co-venture with Harris Jewelry and that there was insufficient oversight of its operations and records. OTA further acknowledged that it failed to ensure that donated money was used for its stated charitable purpose, and that it made other purportedly charitable expenditures directly to individuals at the sole discretion of its chief executive, with no application or assessment process or action by its Board.

OTA, as part of the settlement, will cease operating and wind down its operation. OTA’s chief executive is also barred from serving as a fiduciary or soliciting for any nonprofit. The settlement assesses civil penalties and requires OTA to continue providing investigational cooperation and assistance.

Concurrently, the FTC has announced that the agency and its state partners have taken action against other schemes as part of “Operation Donate with Honor,” a nationwide law enforcement and education initiative to stop veterans-related charity fraud. FTC investigations (CIDs) and defense law firm Hinch Newman reports that regulators nationwide have joined this initiative, which has been in the works for months. Hinch Newman also reports that state attorneys general had recently been issuing civil investigative demands for weeks, leading up to the FTC’s announcement.

Contact Hinch Newman at 212-756-8777 if you have any questions the recent charity-based regulatory sweep, or if you or your company have been served with process or received a civil investigative demand. Following the author on LinkedIn.

Hinch Newman is a regulatory litigation, investigations and compliance law firm.   

Informational purposes only. Not legal advice. Always seek the advice of an attorney. Previous case results do not guarantee similar future result. Hinch Newman LLP | 40 Wall St., 35th Floor, New York, NY 10005 | (212) 756-8777.

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