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The Almighty Buck

Will Your Credit Report Disqualify You For a Job? 513

coondoggie writes "Two companies that fired workers and rejected job applicants based on background checks, without informing those people of their rights, have settled with the FTC for $77,000 in civil penalties. Most experts we talked to think this case is just the tip of the iceberg. The companies — Quality Terminal Services and Rail Terminal Services — were charged with violating provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires employers to get permission to look at individual credit reports. If you don't get a job because of information in your report, the employer must show you the report and tell you how to get a copy from the consumer reporting company. There is no charge for the report if you request it within 60 days of getting notice that you did not get a job."
Microsoft

Microsoft Says H-1B Workers Among Those Losing Jobs 612

CWmike notes that after a US Senator urged Microsoft to lay off H-1B workers first, Microsoft says it is cutting a 'significant number' of foreign workers as part of the layoff it announced last week. But experts say there is nothing in the law requiring a company to cut the jobs of H-1B workers before US workers. David Kussin, an immigration attorney, said, 'In fact, the law is very well designed to say that you have to treat H-1Bs the same as US citizens in all regards.' Another H-1B critic, UC Davis professor Norman Matloff, said the Senator's letter would help their fight. 'If Microsoft doesn't state that they will lay off the H-1Bs first — and they won't state this — then it would be awfully tough for Bill Gates to come back to the Hill and urge an H-1B increase, wouldn't it?'"
The Courts

Halo 3 Criticized In Murder Conviction 839

oldwindways writes "An Ohio teen was found guilty of murdering his mother and shooting his father in the head after they took away his copy of Halo 3. One has to wonder if this is going to have any effect on the games industry. Clearly, the AP thought they could stir up something controversial by asking the IP owner for a statement: 'Microsoft, which owns the intellectual property for the game, declined to comment beyond a statement saying: "We are aware of the situation and it is a tragic case."' I suppose the good news is they did not accept his insanity plea, so no one can claim that Halo 3 drove him insane. Even so, I don't think anything good can come out of this for gamers." Unfortunately, it seems somebody can claim that the game was a contributing factor; the judge who presided over this case said he believes that the 17-year-old defendant "had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever." GamePolitics has further details from the judge's statement. It doesn't help that the boy's lawyers used video game addiction as a defense.
Image

Students Are Always Half Right In Pittsburgh Screenshot-sm 881

Pittsburgh Public Schools officials have enacted a policy that sets 50 percent as the minimum score a student can receive for assignments, tests and other work. District spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said, the 50 percent minimum gives children a chance to catch up and a reason to keep trying. If a student gets a 20 percent in a class for the first marking period, he or she would need a 100 percent during the second marking period just to squeak through the semester. The district and teachers union issued a joint memo to ensure staff members' compliance with the policy, which was already on the books but enforced only at some schools. At this rate, it won't be long before schools institute double extra credit Mondays and Fridays to ensure students don't take three day weekends.
Transportation

Ford's 65MPG Due In November, But Not In the US 1103

computermesh writes "Ford has a vehicle that gets 65MPG and will not be released in the US. Why? Because they can not afford to! 'Ford's 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic goes on sale in November. But here's the catch: Despite the car's potential to transform Ford's image and help it compete with Toyota Motor (TM) and Honda Motor (HMC) in its home market, the company will sell the little fuel sipper only in Europe. "We know it's an awesome vehicle," says Ford America President Mark Fields. "But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S." The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.'"
Government

Black Box Voting 2008 Election Protection Toolkit 259

Gottesser writes "Bev Harris over at Black Box Voting has done everyone a favor and released her 2008 Election Protection toolkit as an ebook. It's like Cliff notes of Bev's 8+ years of experience on the front lines of the modern voting rights movement. The ebook presents succinct information to get individuals actively involved in the full-contact sport that is democracy. The target audience is those who believe that the political process requires more than just showing up to vote once every four years those who know that something's up with those voting machines. You may remember Bev Harris from her Emmy-nominated HBO documentary 'Hacking Democracy.' I've been working on election integrity issues in Ohio for some time now and have met Bev several times. Her work is nothing less than groundbreaking. Please check it out."

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