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Legal Report

- Court cases on negligence, premises liability, and the ADA; guidelines on dealing with cancer as a disability; and legislation on water infrastructure and identity theft.

Sexual Harassment

- In the first case of its kind, the California Supreme Court has ruled that widespread sexual favoritism in the workplace can create a hostile workplace environment. While an isolated case of favoritism would not be grounds for a harassment charge, ruled the court, employees may sue if the message conveyed in the workplace is that women are sexual playthings or that they must engage in sexual conduct with supervisors to get ahead. In the case, a prison warden was conducting four simultaneous affairs and used his authority to get the women special treatment such as promotions and perks. (Miller v. Department of Corrections, Supreme Court of California, No. S114097, 2005)

Information Brokers

- The California Assembly’s Insurance Committee has voted down a bill (S.B. 550) that would have required any companies, before selling personal information to investigators, to certify the legitimacy of those clients and provide the subject of the inquiry with a copy of the information being given out.

Identity Theft

- A bill (S. 1408) that would set national standards requiring businesses to report data security breaches to its customers has been approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. tracking system for all radiation sources in the United States.

EEOC Guidance

- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidelines for employers on dealing with cancer as a disability.


- A court has ruled that a manufacturing plant did not discriminate against a potential employee when it declined to hire him.

Security Negligence

- A California appeals court has ruled that the client of a security guard firm is not liable for injuries substained by a security guard.

An Alarming Trend

- The EEOC has recorded an uptick in racial harassment over the past two decades.

Muslim Charity Trial Declared Mistrial

- Government says it will retry the case.

Sexual Harassment

- A court has ruled that an employee may proceed with assault charges as well as claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress against her employer. In the case, the employee was physically assaulted by her supervisor. After an investigation into the incident that led to the supervisor receiving sexual harassment training, the employee was forced to work for him again. After the supervisor began undermining the employee’s work, the company claimed that nothing could be done to curtail the inappropriate activity.


- A bill (formerly S.B. 25) prohibiting hiring and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. The bill, which was signed into law by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, would make it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation, or gender identity. Unlike federal discrimination laws, which apply only to those with 15 or more employees, the Colorado law will apply to all employers in the state.

Employment Discrimination

- A bill (H.R. 2831) introduced by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) that would revise employment discrimination laws has been approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate has agreed to consider the measure.

Security Officers

- A bill (H.R. 2703) introduced by Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) would require that all security officers undergo a federal and state background check covering the previous ten years. The applicant would be precluded from getting the job if he or she had been convicted any one of a number of crimes, including illegal firearms possession, burglary, buying or receiving stolen property, unlawful entry, reckless endangerment, making threats of terrorism, or any crime of violence. Other offenses may disqualify the applicant from a job as a security officer if that crime is relevant to the ability of the employee to provide reliable security services.

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