Legal Report: Workplace Violence
11/06/2007 - A bill (H.B. 896) currently under consideration in the Texas Legislature would make it illegal for employers to ban firearms from their parking areas. Employers could not establish, maintain, or enforce any policy or rule that constitutes such a ban. The provision would allow employees who have a concealed-weapons permit to bring the guns to the workplace so long as they are kept in a locked vehicle. ASIS International has announced its opposition to such legislation, noting that employers have an obligation to provide a safe workplace and that bills such as H.B. 896 make accomplishing this impossible.
Legal Report: Physical Security
11/06/2007 - A bill (S. 376) introduced by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) would require that the government develop a system to increase the number of shipping containers physically inspected, monitored, and tracked within the United States. The bill would require that at least 50 percent of all ocean-borne shipping containers be inspected by 2007.
Legal Report: ID issues \ Identity Theft
11/06/2007 - Two bills (H.R. 1069 and H.R. 1263), introduced by Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL) and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) respectively, would require that data collection organizations notify consumers when their personal information has been compromised.
Legal Report: Port Security
11/06/2007 - The 2006 U.S. Government budget (H. Con. Res. 95) proposed by the Bush administration does not include funding for the port security grant program. The program, which has distributed $565 million since its inception in 2002, would be replaced by the Targeted Infrastructure Protection program. The new program would offer a total of $600 million in grants. Under the Targeted Infrastructure Protection program, ports would compete with other transit systems, railroads, and buses for funding. The Coast Guard, along with container security initiatives and trade partnership programs, would, however, see an increase in funding from 2005. @ Details of the budget, which had passed both houses at press time and awaited the President’s signaure, are available at SM Online.
Legal Issues: Proprietary Information Protection
11/06/2007 - To reduce liability, companies must know how to manage electronic records and how to respond to electronic discovery requests.
Book Reviews: How-to
11/06/2007 - Charles Nemeth has released the third edition of his highly acclaimed Private Security and the Law. For years, it has proved to be an indispensable guide to civil and criminal liability stemming from acts or omissions committed by the security function. This newest edition updates the principles with new case law.
Legal Report: Maritime Security
11/06/2007 - A bill (S. 378)introduced by Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) that would create several new seaport security crimes has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and has been accepted for consideration in the Senate.
Legal Report: Surveillance
11/06/2007 - The House Judiciary Committee has held several hearings on the expanded police powers included in the Patriot Act, which will be expiring at the end of this year. The first (S. 318), introduced by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI), would amend and make permanent the expiring computer trespass provision of the Patriot Act. Another bill (S. 737), introduced by Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), would limit the use of the surveillance powers more so than is the case currently in the Patriot Act.
Legal Report: Proprietary Information Protection
11/06/2007 - A bill (S. 500) introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) would regulate information brokers and would allow individuals to bring civil lawsuits against companies that fail to protect consumer data. A companion bill (H.R. 1080) has been introduced in the House by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA). The House version has 13 cosponsors and has been referred to the House Energy Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
Legal Report: Workplace Violence
11/06/2007 - The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that an employee who was assaulted in a parking lot shared by her employer and other businesses can recover workers’ compensation benefits. (Zoucha v. Touch of Class Lounge, Supreme Court of Nebraska, No. S-03-971, 2005)
Legal Report: Legal Issues
11/02/2007 - Court cases on background screening and workers’ compensation, and bills on surveillance powers and cargo security.
Legal Report: Investigations
11/02/2007 - The Delaware Supreme Court has ruled that a McDonald’s employee, Susan Rizzitiello, cannot sue the company for wrongful termination. Rizzitiello was suspended pending an investigation of inventory issues. However, Rizzitiello resigned her employment and filed a lawsuit. The court ruled that Rizzitiello could not claim wrongful termination if she was not terminated. Also, the court determined that a suspension to conduct a workplace investigation could not be considered grounds for a constructive discharge—a situation in which working conditions are so poor that the employee has no choice but to resign. (Susan Rizzitiello v. McDonald’s Corporation, Supreme Court of the State of Delaware, No. 93-2004, 2005)
Legal Report: Hiring \ Employment Issues
11/02/2007 - The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that a company cannot require an employee to pay the cost of his drug test. In the case, the company hired a new employee, Thomas Tow, on the condition that he pass a background check and drug test. Tow’s drug test was inconclusive. The company told Tow that he would have to pay for a new test before he would be hired. Tow sued the company. The court ruled that, in Iowa, a company must pay for such tests. (Thomas J. Tow v. Truck Country of Iowa, Inc., Supreme Court of Iowa, No. 04-0462, 2005)