News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Self-driving car crash leads to charge; ABA center will monitor trial of 'Hotel Rwanda' hero

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Backup driver for self-driving car is charged after crash death

A backup driver for an Uber self-driving test vehicle has been charged with negligent homicide for a March 2018 crash that killed a homeless woman. Rafael Vasquez, 46, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Maricopa County, Arizona. Police in Tempe, Arizona, had said Vasquez’s cellphone was streaming a TV show at the time of the crash, but Vasquez denied looking at the phone. (Reuters, the Phoenix New Times, Maricopa County attorney’s press release, the indictment)

ABA center to monitor trial of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ figure

The ABA Center for Human Rights plans to monitor the Rwandan trial of Paul Rusesabagina, a U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient who was inspiration for the movie Hotel Rwanda. Rusesabagina was credited with helping save more than 1,000 lives during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. He is a critic of the current ruling party in Rwanda. Among the charges against him are forming an armed group, financing terrorism and complicity in kidnapping. The ABA center is monitoring Rusesabagina’s trial as part of the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s TrialWatch initiative. (ABA Center for Human Rights Sept. 16 press release, the Associated Press)

Littler Mendelson restores pay

Littler Mendelson will restore pay and add make-whole payments for those actively working at the firm in the United States, Mexico and Canada. The law firm had cut pay by 20% for equity partners and from 4% to 15% for other lawyers and staff members. The firm said it is also “working with” staff who can’t work from home who had to take 50% pay cuts. (, Above the Law)

Civil rights commission urges end to subminimum wage for disabled employees

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is urging Congress to end a waiver program that allows employers to pay less than the minimum wage to employees with disabilities. A commission report said the program “is rife with abuse and difficult to administer without harming employees with disabilities.” The commission is calling for a phased repeal, along with expanded funding for supported employment services. (Law360, Sept. 17 commission press release, commission report)

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